Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => Sicilian Style => Topic started by: sum1else on January 11, 2012, 01:24:57 PM

Title: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 11, 2012, 01:24:57 PM
For those of you who haven't been to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst, you should. I recommend this place to everyone. The pizza is unique and the atmosphere relaxed. Here is a video on Man vs Food about the pizza: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocs79_IbJ-g (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocs79_IbJ-g). I used this video as a reference to the workflow.

The defining features of the pie are that the cheese is underneath the sauce and blends seamlessly into the dough. Its hard to tell where dough ends and cheese begins. The dough is pillowy and slightly undercooked (especially in the center pieces). There are no large air pockets; the crumb is uniform and small. The texture is very light. The sauce is basic but slightly sweet, oily, and coated with a whole lot of pecorino romano cheese. For those of you who don't know, pecorino is similar in texture to Parmesan cheese, but is made from sheep's milk and is very sharp and stinky. Even if you don't like sicilian, you still will love L&B. It is not heavy, not too cheesy, and always fresh (the place is always busy).

I did a lot of research online and couldn't find much information about recreating this pie. I know that the owners come from Sicily. The Sfincione from Sicily looks very similar to the L&B pie. So, I decided I would start with a sfincione dough. But, I never found a recipe given in weight measurements, only volume, so I didn't do anything. Over Christmas vacation Kenji Alt (serious eats) posted his version of a no-knead sfincione: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/12/the-pizza-lab-sfincione-the-original-sicilian-pizza.html (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/12/the-pizza-lab-sfincione-the-original-sicilian-pizza.html). This looks very similar to L&B, and I figured it would be a great starting point.

Kenji gave his measurements in grams. It looks like he used a half-sheet pan. I worked out the math, and here is the output of the Dough calculator for my half sheet aluminized steel (not a non-stick) pan:

Flour (100%):    499.39 g  |  17.62 oz | 1.1 lbs
Water (69.4%):    346.58 g  |  12.23 oz | 0.76 lbs
IDY (1%):    4.99 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.66 tsp | 0.55 tbsp
Salt (2%):    9.99 g | 0.35 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.08 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
Oil (5.4%):    26.97 g | 0.95 oz | 0.06 lbs | 5.99 tsp | 2 tbsp
Total (177.8%):   887.92 g | 31.32 oz | 1.96 lbs | TF = 0.145

To prepare the dough:

Mixed cool water, IDY, Salt together first (thanks to Chau for the workflow). Then I mixed in the Flour and then the oil. I covered the mixture and refrigerated overnight, for 18 hours. After removing from the fridge, I punched it down to get out all the air (there are no large air pockets in L&B's dough, and they use a sheeter which would push most of it out). Then I poured 2 tbsp EVOO on the pan and another tbsp to coat the ball of dough. I dropped it in the pan and flattened it a bit to get the rest of the air out. I waited 2 hours and then shaped and topped the dough: Mozz first, then sauce, then pecorino, and finally olive oil.

Components
Cheese: Pollyo Whole Milk & Whole Foods Pecorino Romano (This pecorino sucks. It is not as sharp as the ones you get in an italian market)
Sauce: RD private label brand Supremo Italiano DOP tomatoes, kosher salt, pepper, oregano
Water: Brita filtered NYC tap water
Salt: Fine table salt, Mortons
Flour: All Trumps, Bromated
Oil: Berio EVOO
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 11, 2012, 01:31:51 PM
I set up an 'oven in an oven' for this bake. Why? because L&B cooks in a deck oven with a very small clearance. I wrapped one of the oven racks in til foil. I put a pan and a cast iron pan on top of it to absorb some heat. I set the oven to 400 degrees and let it preheat for about 20 minutes (forgot to set a timer). At launch, the steel stone was 780F (bad reading?), ambient 600, and the cast iron was 390. At launch, I upped the oven to 425 degrees. The total bake time was exaclty 15 minutes, with a 180 rotation 6 minutes in. Note that my pan is bigger than my stone, and was partially hanging off equally on both sides.

Notes on this pie, for next time:

-The texture was very close; perhaps wait longer to bake the pie; I had trouble stretching it to the full pan but I was getting hungry!!
-Shorten bake time by about 1 minute to undercook the center a bit. L&B makes a whole cake pan, so the center is naturally cooked less. Using a half pan, it cooks more uniformly.
-Make it slightly less thick, maybe .13
-More sauce
-More pecorino (I barely tasted it, and I thought I used a lot).
-Little to no pan oil. The crust almost tasted like Pizza Hut because there was so much oil. You can see from my photos that there was a pool of oil, and that's after I absorbed some with paper towels. It was way too fried. It doesn't look like L&B does this at all, but their sheets are well seasoned.
-Switch to a neutral oil for the dough-I only had EVOO available. Because of the taste of EVOO, the dough had a bready quality to it that you don't get at Spumoni.

Notes on oven within an oven:

-This was my first time with this method, but Tin Foil seemed to do just fine. Thanks to everyone who has posted this method before.
-I only used one layer of regular tin foil. 2 layers of heavy duty would be even better.
-The oven never shut off on me
-My steel stone preheated very fast.
-I will definitely give this method a shot for a NY pie. Baking down bottom at first and then switching to the broiler (which would probably stay on) after.


If anyone else has tried to duplicate L&B or tries because of my post, please let me know!
This was the second best sicilian I've ever had
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 11, 2012, 02:44:38 PM
Very nice write up and great job on the pie. So what did the crumb taste like, did it have some complexity? Does the L&B original rely on the toppings for flavor, or are you after the crust itself?

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 11, 2012, 02:58:01 PM
Thanks John. I'm after the whole pie, but I figure the crust is the most difficult.

The crumb had a good taste, there was definitely some complexity from the ferment-I could smell it when handling the dough. But, the EVOO overpowered most of the crust flavor. Changing the oil is a must (as Scott123 has informed me), as is using less pan oil.

I found that my toppings were similar, though I did not have enough pecorino (or maybe just not sharp enough). I also could have used a tiny bit more salt in my sauce- I eye ball this so I have no idea how much I used. The cheese at L&B is also much more stretchy, though the taste is not much different. I am informed by some members that they use Grande... I don't really want to buy a massive brick at RD, so supermarket brands will have to do. The consistency of my sauce was very close. I simply pour the can into a colander, drain out all the excess puree and juices, and then shake for about 30 seconds to get as much liquid out as possible, and then blend until uniform.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 11, 2012, 07:02:42 PM
Thanks John. I'm after the whole pie, but I figure the crust is the most difficult.

The crumb had a good taste, there was definitely some complexity from the ferment-I could smell it when handling the dough. But, the EVOO overpowered most of the crust flavor. Changing the oil is a must (as Scott123 has informed me), as is using less pan oil.

I found that my toppings were similar, though I did not have enough pecorino (or maybe just not sharp enough). I also could have used a tiny bit more salt in my sauce- I eye ball this so I have no idea how much I used. The cheese at L&B is also much more stretchy, though the taste is not much different. I am informed by some members that they use Grande... I don't really want to buy a massive brick at RD, so supermarket brands will have to do. The consistency of my sauce was very close. I simply pour the can into a colander, drain out all the excess puree and juices, and then shake for about 30 seconds to get as much liquid out as possible, and then blend until uniform.

Thanks for the added information. I am going to try this pizza this weekend. I have been looking at some videos from L&B - do you think that the hydration is a bit lower than nearly 70%? I was thinking in the mid 60's, but I have not used All Trumps in ages. It may be that the high gluten makes it look less elastic than it really is. And from your pics, I think you have the right TF.

In my attempt I may use KABF. And I want to use CY, so I am going to up the percentage to 1.5% and stretch out the cold ferment to 24 hours. Let me know if you think I should try anything else.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 11, 2012, 07:57:30 PM
I think their pizza has to be a bit lower hydration. The dough I made would never get through a sheeter alive.

I have never really worked with KABF, so I'm afraid I can't offer much advice. Hopefully others will step in.  Good luck.

Nothing else except remember my warnings about oil!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 12, 2012, 06:21:25 AM
I think their pizza has to be a bit lower hydration. The dough I made would never get through a sheeter alive.

I have never really worked with KABF, so I'm afraid I can't offer much advice. Hopefully others will step in.  Good luck.

Nothing else except remember my warnings about oil!

Do you know for sure they are using All Trump or the like? You describe a softness to the product middle - I usually do not associate softness and lightness to AT.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 12, 2012, 09:16:52 AM
I don't know if they use AT. I have been told they use a high protein bromated flour, but not the brand. I think you should try with the KABF and see what happens.   

Mine did come out soft and light. It must be a product of all the moisture
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 12, 2012, 09:29:18 AM
I don't know if they use AT. I have been told they use a high protein bromated flour, but not the brand. I think you should try with the KABF and see what happens.   

Mine did come out soft and light. It must be a product of all the moisture

Thanks for all your insight!

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dmcavanagh on January 15, 2012, 08:02:43 AM
I've been using Con Agra Occident, which is a bromated baker's flour. It's protein is in the bread flour range (12.4), yet it makes a soft, light dough. I've had very good results with it for both pizza dough, bread and even bread machine made bread. It may be worth a try if you can get a bag of it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 15, 2012, 05:49:28 PM
Thanks to sum1else and the Man vs. Food video on YT showcasing L&B, here is what I came up with:

Flour (100%):
Water (64%):
CY (1.2%):
Salt (2.3%):
Oil (4%):

TF=.13

I used 75/25 KAAP and Giusto's Ultimate Performer to get the protein count up. Mix, autolyse, 2 stretch and folds 1/2 hour apart, and into the fridge for 24 hours. Out for 2 hours, in the pan, proofed another hour. Baked at 450 for 15 minutes with convection on.

The sauce was SM tomatoes with salt, pepper and fresh oregano, cooked down for 20 minutes. Whole milk mozz, high quality percorino, EVOO. The second pie I got a little fanciful, and put roasted eggplant, basil and smoked mozz - but still put the sauce on last.

I could easily eat this for the rest of my life and not want for more. The center is fluffy and moist, the bottom crisp and slightly charred, the cooked sauce reduces even more and mixes with the cheese. My family loved it.

The yeast amount I used is probably too much, and I am sure they use AT or the like for flour. All in all I think it came very close to the real deal, even though my crumb was a bit holey.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 15, 2012, 05:50:11 PM
More pics.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: buceriasdon on January 15, 2012, 05:52:14 PM
Wow John, that looks wonderful.
Don
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 16, 2012, 06:45:31 PM
That looks delicious, John.
I'm going to try again next weekend on this one. I'll probably go with the same dough, but as a same-day dough. This should get it closer to the real deal.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 02:06:45 PM
Taking the sfincione recipe and using that as a starting point was pretty brilliant. L&B's square continues to be one of my all time fav pizza of any kind. The attempts here look fantastic!

I am gonna take a stab at this again (came close in the past) in consideration of what you guys have done here and also what I have gleaned since my last attempt.

I am also gonna take a stab at a local Brooklyn Grandma slice ( https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZnCSXAIKA8g/Tuf6YhgNyWI/AAAAAAAAACE/Lc02g_gK76w/s1600/449264425.jpg (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZnCSXAIKA8g/Tuf6YhgNyWI/AAAAAAAAACE/Lc02g_gK76w/s1600/449264425.jpg) ) that I am also incredibly keen on as well. It is a garlic and flavor bomb. It is a nice break from a full-height Sicilian as it isn't quite as bready.

I am glad square pies seem to be coming back into the zeitgeist :)!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 02:21:19 PM
That looks delicious, John.
I'm going to try again next weekend on this one. I'll probably go with the same dough, but as a same-day dough. This should get it closer to the real deal.

I am getting some high protein spring wheat flour to approximate AT for my next attempt. My first attempt was half hearted in that I made a dough that I would like instead of a L&B clone. I was also going to do a same day dough as well with IDY - what are you thinking in terms of percentage? This will obviously be a room temp ferment.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 02:24:25 PM
Also, this video has been posted in another thread. I am assuming he is making an L&B pie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCoTdmEaqks

I am thinking the hydration is lower 60's. Thoughts?

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 02:40:59 PM
John,

I've seen that video--there's really no way to tell if he has the crust from the video. The quality isn't high enough and there's no cross section. But that definitely is an L&B clone with a lower hydration.

I haven't figured out how much yeast to use yet, I'll probably look at some of my notes on prior pies to figure that out. Of course, some kneading will be required because of the shorter ferment. I also plan on pressing it down lightly to collapse the larger air bubbles. Let me know if you get there first! I won't be making any moves until Friday or Saturday


Tyler
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 02:46:18 PM
That video has been a great reference to me in the past too. I like how the guy in the vid overlaps the cheese for a "full blanket". The cheese baking into the dough at L&B is def what makes it really special.

The crumb at L&B is not very moist, which leads me to believe it is much like regular (non-upside) NYC Sicilian dough, which is typically the same as for thin crust, just a bigger dough ball (2+ pounds) that gets pan proofed. This would lead me to also believe that the oil percentage isn't terribly high in L&B's formula and that the hydration percentage is probably somewhere between 60-65%.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 02:47:56 PM
John,

I've seen that video--there's really no way to tell if he has the crust from the video. The quality isn't high enough and there's no cross section. But that definitely is an L&B clone with a lower hydration.

I haven't figured out how much yeast to use yet, I'll probably look at some of my notes on prior pies to figure that out. Of course, some kneading will be required because of the shorter ferment. I also plan on pressing it down lightly to collapse the larger air bubbles. Let me know if you get there first! I won't be making any moves until Friday or Saturday


Tyler

Thanks Tyler. From the pictures I have been looking at on Google, I am convinced that this is a high protein dough that is heavily mixed. The dough structure looks like a tight mesh, which means the dough had been taken to the intensive stage during mixing. This would fall in line with either a heavily yeasted dough that is kept in a cooler overnight or a same day mix and 8 hour rest or so. Do you have confirmation that they do a same day dough there?

This pizza is haunting my dreams! I am going to try it on Saturday.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 02:49:11 PM
That video has been a great reference to me in the past too. I like how the guy in the vid overlaps the cheese for a "full blanket". The cheese baking into the dough at L&B is def what makes it really special.

The crumb at L&B is not very moist, which leads me to believe it is much like regular (non-upside) NYC Sicilian dough, which is typically the same as for thin crust, just a bigger dough ball (2+ pounds) that gets pan proofed. This would lead me to also believe that the oil percentage isn't terribly high in L&B's formula.

Excellent info here. I am going to up the thickness factor to .14 or .15 for my next attempt.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 02:52:24 PM
I addended (sorry!) my last comment to add that I don't think that the pro L&B dough is that wet.

A no-knead knock-off may need to be a wetter though.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 03:37:00 PM
Quote
Do you have confirmation that they do a same day dough there?
Nope. The only confirmation that I have is that the pizza is freaking awesome.

Quote
. The dough structure looks like a tight mesh, which means the dough had been taken to the intensive stage during mixing.
You are right on that, John. There is very little air inside the dough, and its very tight. I don't know enough about the chemistry of gluten development to comment about the mixing.

I'm excited to hear about your visit. Here's a few tips for your trip:

-The restaurant (attached to the pizza place) is only OK, not great but not bad
-If you are doing slices, only get one at a time. These guys blow through a pie in under 5 minutes, so you can always get a hot fresh slice
-My favorite slice is the middle. Its harder to eat, but you will find the gooey texture that I am obsessed with recreating.

Try and spy for us! Any info can help!! Some times they keep supplies in the back near where the restrooms are.


Quote
The crumb at L&B is not very moist, which leads me to believe it is much like regular (non-upside) NYC Sicilian dough, which is typically the same as for thin crust, just a bigger dough ball (2+ pounds) that gets pan proofed. This would lead me to also believe that the oil percentage isn't terribly high in L&B's formula and that the hydration percentage is probably somewhere between 60-65%.

-In the Man v Food video, the owner says that a pie (they use a full cake sheet) is 5lbs, meaning my half sheet (12x18) should be 2.5lbs--this comes out to 27% heavier than the dough I used, which seems like way too much. He could have estimated. I could work out the math on this when I have some time and figure out what TF this would give. Note: I measured my take-out pie once and found that it is approximately a standard cake sheet (18x24).

-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

-I'm not sure if the dough is pan proofed. One thing that L&B does that is strange to me is that they prepare many pies ahead of time and just let them sit there with cheese and sauce. You would expect this to hurt the pie, but the place is so busy that it probably doesn't sit for more than 20 minutes before being baked.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 03:41:52 PM
This pizza is haunting my dreams! I am going to try it on Saturday.

You're visiting the area and not planning a get together?  Did Craig teach you nothing?  ;D
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 03:47:16 PM
-In the Man v Food video, the owner says that a pie (they use a full cake sheet) is 5lbs, meaning my half sheet (12x18) should be 2.5lbs--this comes out to 27% heavier than the dough I used, which seems like way too much. He could have estimated. I could work out the math on this when I have some time and figure out what TF this would give. Note: I measured my take-out pie once and found that it is approximately a standard cake sheet (18x24).

-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

-I'm not sure if the dough is pan proofed. One thing that L&B does that is strange to me is that they prepare many pies ahead of time and just let them sit there with cheese and sauce. You would expect this to hurt the pie, but the place is so busy that it probably doesn't sit for more than 20 minutes before being baked.

Thanks for these great observations. We need Peter to take a look at the video and help us with some Math.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 03:48:20 PM
You're visiting the area and not planning a get together?  Did Craig teach you nothing?  ;D

Sorry, I am going to try the bake on Saturday, not visit L&B.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 03:51:15 PM
-I also believe that their dough is not very wet/oily. But, I haven't been able to get close to the gooey texture of their dough without a high % of water and oil. I might try lowering the oil and water by 1.5% and 2%, respectively. I think it has to be higher than a sicilian slice in manhattan.

I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to reply, but I was going to tell Tyler, along with how great his attempt looks, that I'm thinking L&B has lots of exterior oil, but not that much in the dough. The chewiness could very well be a very high gluten flour (like All Trumps) and high-ish water. Every cross section I've seen of L&B slices has always seemed very moist- and I'm not sure you see that with typical NY 60ish hydrations and 15 minute bakes.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 03:52:30 PM
Using brute force on the Pizza Dough Calculator, I found that 2.5lbs (~1134g) for 18x12 pie would result in a .185 TF.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 03:56:10 PM
Using brute force on the Pizza Dough Calculator, I found that 2.5lbs (~1134g) for 18x12 pie would result in a .185 TF.

Good Lord! Well, didn't you do .14 and get a pretty thick crust in your first attempt? I would assume then that if the TF is really that high, then the dough is prevented from raising to heights above the pan through the massively ample layer of sauce.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 03:57:39 PM
I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to reply, but I was going to tell Tyler, along with how great his attempt looks, that I'm thinking L&B has lots of exterior oil, but not that much in the dough. The chewiness could very well be a very high gluten flour (like All Trumps) and high-ish water. Every cross section I've seen of L&B slices has always seemed very moist- and I'm not sure you see that with typical NY 60ish hydrations and 15 minute bakes.

Scott - How high a percentage of water do you think would fit through a sheeter? I have never used or even seen one, so I don't know how they operate.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 03:59:12 PM
Thanks, Scott. Please keep checking this thread when you have time-your input is invaluable.

John- Yep, I did TF 14.5.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 05:15:07 PM
I was so into thinking about regular Sicilians that I forgot...yeah I agree that L&B's square does not look pan proofed actually. It lacks those tell tale large voids on the undercrust. Def part of its uniqueness.

I think that we are all generally on the same page about the dough not being that wet and not that oily (the dough). The crumb is pretty dense and kinda of white-bready without being overly spongy. My recollection again is that the crumb itself is not wet (like a pie with potato flour or a lot of oil might be), but about the same dryness as a regular NYC Sicilian just with a denser crumb and possibly a little less oil in the dough. They are steaming though when they come out though. I need to have a slice again to recalibrate my memory from the summer (I live nearby). It's a tough job but I am up for it :).

I would think KA Bread would be an acceptable, accessible flour for the home user for this one. I don't find using a bromated flour "necessary" for good rise but L&B probably does use it.

I can't begin to describe how hungry I am for an L&B slice right now :)! It really is a special slice and place. The restaurant isn't terrible either.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 05:17:15 PM
Sure thing, Tyler.

That '5 lb.' quote has to be a very rough ballpark. Tyler, you're inclination to go a bit lower in TF is on the money, imo. Your crumb could be a bit more uniform, but I think the oven spring/air to dough ratio is very similar. The crust is just a little on the high side, so a little less dough is in order.

Regarding water... Tyler nailed the undercrust appearance and bake time, and, from my perspective, had an ever slightly drier looking crumb than L&B, so his 69, imo, is on the low end of the spectrum.  I wouldn't go lower- unless the 15 minute bake time is an approximation. A faster bake produces less evaporation/more residual moisture. For 15 minutes, though, I'm feeling 70-72 (with a more NYish level of oil in the dough- maybe 3%).

John, I think, with enough bench flour, you can sheet doughs as high as 80% hydration, although I've never used a sheeter myself.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 05:35:47 PM
I think that we are all generally on the same page about the dough not being that wet and not that oily (the dough). The crumb is pretty dense and kinda of white-bready without being overly spongy. My recollection again is that the crumb itself is not wet (like a pie with potato flour or a lot of oil might be), but about the same dryness as a regular NYC Sicilian just with a denser crumb and possibly a little less oil in the dough.

Below is a shot of L&B's crumb.  That's looking very wet to me.  It's funny that you mention potato, because that's what I was thinking when I took the screen grab.  I don't think it's potato, but it's potato wet.

And, so far, Tyler hasn't said anything about his crust being noticeably chewier than L&B, which, from my memory, was pretty chewy, so I think 14% protein flour is in order- maybe not 14% bromated, but 14% flour.  If someone's going through the trouble to get 14% they might as well get bromated as well, since, as you said, it's highly likely they're using bromate.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 05:38:37 PM
Crap, now that I've looked at that photo a bit, it seems like a lot of dough.  Maybe we are talking about a greater thickness factor.  It's a tough call.

Tyler, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but, next time, it has to be thinly slice mozz with good sauce coverage.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 05:45:33 PM
Below is a shot of L&B's crumb.  That's looking very wet to me.  It's funny that you mention potato, because that's what I was thinking when I took the screen grab.  I don't think it's potato, but it's potato wet.

That is so much wetter than my memory but nonetheless that is it. It looks so amazing doesn't it? This pie is so singular. That is one monster piece of dough needed to make this pie that is for sure. I wonder if that crumb shows a certain level of oil. Maybe it is upwards of 4%.

I was originally thinking it was the same dough they used for their thin crust pie and just handled differently (which is why I though it much less wet) but now I am def not sure. I wish I/we had someone with some firsthand/inside info.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dmcavanagh on January 17, 2012, 05:55:00 PM
If you look closely at that video, when he removes the pie from the pan and slides it back into the oven to crisp, the edge still looks rather pale. That would lead me to believe it is a "young", or freshly made dough. Probably just a short room temp proof. That dough doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary, wouldn't think it's anything more then lower 60's hydration percentage.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 05:56:38 PM
Quote
Tyler, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but, next time, it has to be thinly slice mozz with good sauce coverage.

Yep, the first thing I noticed after stepping away from it is that I didn't use enough sauce, and the cheese was slightly too thick. Easy to fix next time. My crust was definitely not more chewy than L&B. In fact, I think it was very very close to the same chew. But recall that I didn't knead at all...

That photo you posted looks so good. But wow it's thick. The frozen slices in my freezer aren't nearly that thick, although they were half-baked so they may not have fully risen. I don't know when I'll be there again, but I'll have to bring a ruler!!

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dmcavanagh on January 17, 2012, 06:00:14 PM
Whoops, I missed the whole second page of this post! :-[
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 06:12:17 PM
This is what I remember: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/l-and-b-spumoni-gardens-best-sicilian-square-pizza-slice-brooklyn-nyc-review.html (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/l-and-b-spumoni-gardens-best-sicilian-square-pizza-slice-brooklyn-nyc-review.html).

It is far dryer and looks like what I was describing earlier (thank goodness -- I know my memory isn't that bad ;)). A 60-65% hydration dough that used a fair amount of yeast and is not entirely unlike a conventional NYC Sicilian (but with denser crumb, inverted cheese and sauce, less pan proofing time and a simpler sauce). Scott your picture looks radically different (far taller and wetter). Interesting.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 06:22:21 PM
Yes, that is drier, although I think part of the dryness is a result of the re-heat, as indicated by the charring on the rim.

If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 06:28:23 PM
Yes, that is drier, although I think part of the dryness is a result of the re-heat, as indicated by the charring on the rim.

If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.

Even without the reheat I don't remember it looking nearly as wet as in your pic. I have gotten plenty of fresh slices over the years. That said, the wetness is clearly variable based on a number of factors.

When I think of hydration I tend to think of it in regards to the slightly lower protein flours I favor. The flour that is likely being used can absorb a lot of water as you point out. What would you think a regular All Trumps NYC Sicilian is hydration wise? The same (65% or more)?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 06:34:13 PM
If someone could do some reconnaissance and determine the flour, that would go a very long way in determining hydration, but, based upon Tyler's results, I'm almost certain this is either All Trumps or an All Trumps equivalent (Kyrol, Balancer).  Based on that assumption, there's no way it could be less than 65%.

If only more videos were HD maybe we could see the flour brand. I have a feeling they will be reluctant to just share it.

I will try to go soon and keep my eyes peeled for flour bags. If all else fails I may just ask but not with the expectation of getting the answer.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 07:03:02 PM
Too many posts on this thread is making me want to hop on the subway for a 1 hour trip each way. **Trying not to do it**
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 07:17:18 PM
Johnny, I haven't paid much attention to regular Sicilian, as I'm not much of a fan- I don't like the way the cheese doesn't get a chance to melt much. In Brooklyn Sicilian, the cheese almost incorporates into the dough and you get a textural phenomenon.  I really can't say what hydrations typical pizzerias use for Sicilian. To be honest, I could be wrong about this, but I'm pretty certain that regular Sicilian dough = slice dough, just thicker.  There are probably places out there that go lower than 65% with All Trumps with their slice dough, but, having done it myself, it's difficult to work with and wouldn't go through the sheeter like the dough in the video does- nor would it stretch as easily.

Unless I  knew him well, I probably wouldn't ask a pizzeria employee what kind of flour they use. Some of these guys can get pretty protective. I would (and have) said things like, "I'm concerned about the health effects of bromate, do you use bromated flour?"
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 07:26:06 PM
Johnny, I haven't paid much attention to regular Sicilian, as I'm not much of a fan- I don't like the way the cheese doesn't get a chance to melt much. In Brooklyn Sicilian, the cheese almost incorporates into the dough and you get a textural phenomenon.  I really can't say what hydrations typical pizzerias use for Sicilian. To be honest, I could be wrong about this, but I'm pretty certain that regular Sicilian dough = slice dough, just thicker.  There are probably places out there that go lower than 65% with All Trumps with their slice dough, but, having done it myself, it's difficult to work with and wouldn't go through the sheeter like the dough in the video does- nor would it stretch as easily.

Unless I  knew him well, I probably wouldn't ask a pizzeria employee what kind of flour they use. Some of these guys can get pretty protective. I would (and have) said things like, "I'm concerned about the health effects of bromate, do you use bromated flour?"

Scott - Thanks so much for contributing. I am going to go with 68% and see how Giusto's High Performer handles it. 13-14.5% spring wheat. Maybe I will forgo the pan rise as well. TF I am still undecided on.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 07:39:35 PM
@Scott: So clearly you understand where I was coming from. My personal experience with some inside info into a handful of classic slice joints is that the round and square dough is usually the same and it is not "that" wet. It is also often bromated GM All Trumps. I was sort of assuming the L&B square to at least be a "cousin" to conventional Brooklyn Sicilian.
--

My quick stab at this is a 68% KA AP (what I had on hand) based low-knead dough with 2% each liquid sourdough starter, salt, honey and oil (sort of my "universal" dough for pizza) -- I just put it together. I am (going to) using a very dark non-stick 13 x 9 pan as that suits the needs of me and my better half (4 decent slices). Dough ball is 620 g. Hope to have pics in 2 days or so.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 17, 2012, 07:58:38 PM
Call me crazy, but I think they are doubling up the dough. Take a look at these screen grabs from the Man vs Food clip. You can clearly see the dough line at the top and bottom of the screen in the first shot.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 08:18:19 PM
John, Tyler and I have talked about this.  I'm 99.9% certain they ferment the dough in half sheet pan quantities (2.5#?) and then, when they get an order for a full pan, they combine two balls.

The high performer might give you something a bit more authentic, but it sounds like, from you and your family's perspective, that the KA AP/high performer blend is going to be tough to beat.

Tyler, I'm not sure about this, but I believe, over time, that L&B, in an effort to save time, went from very thin slices of cheese with full coverage, to the thicker, spaced out slabs you see in the video. I think full coverage is preferable from a textural perspective. Here's a video from an L&B clone/very possible ex-L&B employee:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH-3ammaTjQ

This is how I'd approach the cheese, going with a slice a tiny bit thicker than the video.

It's a more work, and because you're buying deli mozz, more costly, but I think the end result will be a bit better than the spaced out mozz you see in the L&B video.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 08:23:53 PM
Johnyy, KA AP is higher protein than most AP, but it's still pretty low for this application.  I'll be interested to hear how this works for you at 68% (if it's really wet, you might want to try a few mid ferment stretch and folds), but I think if you really want to do this style justice, I'd track down a 13.5-14% protein flour, preferably bromated, like AT or Sams Club's High Gluten or Gordon Food Services Primo Gusto.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 08:25:43 PM
Scott, I'll try that cheese setup on my next try. Do you think a 1/8" slice from my mandoline will do the trick, or too thick? I could always have the supermarket deli counter do it for me, but where's the fun in that??
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 08:28:06 PM
I keep forgetting to ask-does anyone have a good source for pecorino romano in NYC? I like a really sharp and stinky romano cheese. I'm thinking Eataly would probably have some great stuff, but everything is so expensive there...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 08:38:04 PM
Tyler, 1/8" might be thin enough, maybe, but I doubt that a mandoline could give you an even slice.  There won't be any fun in getting it from the deli, but you will have fun biting into a slice and getting the perfect texture.

Trader Joes has a solid imported Romano, nothing fancy, but solid. If you don't let it sit around for too long, it will have some major cojones.  Buy it close to when you're making pizza and store any that you don't use in an airtight glass jar, not plastic.  Also, use a grater that gives you a slightly larger grate than what you used last time.  And, obviously, use a lot more. Summing up

1. Trader Joes Romano
2. Freshly purchased (or stored carefully)
3. Larger grate
4. Lots of it
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 08:44:30 PM
@Scott: Thanks for the flour suggestions. I know it really should be a higher protein flour that is bromated and probably lower hydration for the AP flour as well but I have gotten used to the wetter dough to some extent. My dough ball might need to be bigger as well. It is just a quick stab to used to making square pies again -- a bit out of practice. Next attempt will likely cleave closer to what the consensus is here.

I am somewhat wary of the health stuff I heard about bromated flours. Your thoughts?

I also wonder what the low threshold (for adequate gluten formation and strength) of hydration is with low-kneads. I do always do a stretch and fold or two during bulk/primary fermentation (Tartine Bread way or on the bench).

@sum1else: Eataly and Whole Foods both have the real thing and are fairly price competive.

Coluccio & Sons, somewhat near L&B, has the real thing. They are price competetive.

Trader Joe's may have it (was typing this as Scott posted).

Caputo Fine Foods in Carroll Gardens has it.

@all: This just in! I just heard from a friend who runs a tour that regularly goes to L&B that he believes the square pie dough may actually be made with a low protein flour. He is not certain but he has access that many don't. I am gonna ask him to investigate further. That would be wild if if was something totally different than what has been thought so far.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 17, 2012, 08:57:20 PM
Johnny, it's either going to be 12.5% or 14%.  I prefer bromated 12.5% for just about everything and find 14% a little tough, especially when cooled.  14% All Trumps has such tremendous market penetration, though- between that and Tyler's observations about tenderness, my money is on 14.  It should be pretty easy to determine- make a 14% version, and, if it's too chewy, go with 12.5.

Bromate has been discussed many times here.  The last discussion got very lively  ;D

Bromate, in the quantities that remain in pizza, is perfectly harmless. It's the same quantities that most municipalities allow in their drinking water.  Even if you don't drink tap water, if you boil pasta, you're most likely getting as much bromate as bromated flour pizza- too insignificant to matter- parts per billion.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 17, 2012, 09:08:09 PM
@Scott: That makes sense. I think he clearly meant "low protein" within the context of flours typically used in NYC area pizza making and certainly not cake flour :). His gut reaction seemed to be that it was lower protein than other doughs. If I get more details I will share them of course.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on bromate. I can appreciate both sides of the argument.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 17, 2012, 09:31:08 PM
I said in some previous posts that a cake sheet is 18x24, and that I measured a consistently size with a take out pie. After some research I found out that cake sheets vary in size, and could actually be 18x26. I did take that measurement a long time ago... I could be wrong.

Anyway the point of this post is that, if we assume they are using a larger pan @ 18x26 (no conclusive evidence either way), and the dough weighs 5lbs, then the TF is ~17.1. Still 18% thicker than my pizza, but a more plausible range, especially if he was over-estimating. Only trial and error will get us an answer.

 [TF= (5lbx16oz)/(18inx26in)=.17094]
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 21, 2012, 10:25:11 AM
I had a better time with this attempt, and I will outline all the reason for the choices I made. I will reference the MvF video, the supposed L&B employee video (LBEMP), and this Brooklyn Pizza Tour one (BPT):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LElNfTBenXc

I also referenced many other commercial sicilian recipes and Suas Advanced Bread and Pastry for mixing info.

Here is the recipe/workflow:

Flour (100%) 75/25 KA European Style (11.7% protein) and KABF (12.7% protein)
Water (63%)
Salt (2.5%)
CY (1%)
Starter: (2%)
Oil (3%)
Sugar (1%)
TF = 0.175

Mixed to intermediate stage in mixer, rested 20 minutes, bulked in fridge 24 hours. Split into two masses without balling, sat at room temp for 1 hour. Used a rolling pin to flatten into rectangular shape with even distribution, put in pan, and stretched corners after another 15 minutes. Topped with cheese and sauce, and proofed in pan for another hour until fully room temp. Baked 450 for exactly 14 minutes with convection.

Dough
I wanted a 12 percent protein. L&B dough is probably mixed to the intensive stage, fermented, and then flattened by a sheeter. It then proofs in the pan with toppings on. There is some oil and definitely sugar - sicilians put sugar in everything, and pictures throughout the net show a crust with even, dark golden coloration. I feel that is contributed by sugar. I used starter and an overnight cold ferment because I wanted more flavor, so feel free to change the yeast amount and do a same day dough. You can achieve the same results, just do a mix to the intensive stage. My KA could not do what I wanted it to, so I did my best to get it mixed really well.

Cheese
I am positive they use whole milk Grande. I used Boars Head whole milk from the deli counter. I used Locatelli pecorino.

Sauce
The sauce is pre-cooked (see BPT). It is thick and sweet (BPT). There is no way they are using DOP San Marzanos, so I got the closest thing I could find, Cento Italian Peeled Tomatoes. LBEMP and MvF all have the party line of SM tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. But LBEMP slips and says the sauce has secret ingredients before the party line. So I went old school Italian American, the sauce I grew up on, and what they would have put in during the 40's when they started (think the scene in The Godfather when Clemenza is making the sauce). That means tomato paste and sugar added. I also added fresh garlic. The sauce was simmered for a half hour until cooked down and thick. I did not cook it down enough last time. And you cannot put enough on.

Sheeter
To approximate what the sheeter does to the crumb I used a rolling pin, and then flipped it into the pan. It was still not even enough.

Proof
They pan-proof by putting the toppings on and letting the pans sit before baking. This helps with a tight mesh crumb structure.

My crumb structure was tighter than last time, and if I had a better mixer it would have been even tighter. The bottom was golden and crispy, the middle crumb tender and light, and the top crumb a gelatinous mix with the cheese. The sauce was thick and slightly sweet - with the bite of the pecorino. All in all, it was even better tasting than the last attempt, and something I will continue to make. I am going to lower the hydration even more, and add even more sauce next time as well.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 21, 2012, 12:19:47 PM
@dellavecchia: Truly spectacular man :)! You are well on your way to cloning this pie, no question.

The slight changes you plan on making for the next try (more sauce etc.) sound right on the money.

I am really out of practice with square pies at the moment and my insistence on using sourdough as a leaven is making this a lot harder. That, and I drastically underestimated how big a dough ball is really needed. It's a bigun!

Any idea how much starter I should use (very active, 100% hydration) or IDY or ADY? I can get cake yeast but do you think it is imperative for this style?

Thanks so much for your efforts on this...been really illuminating!

Oh, BTW, I have had really good results with the KA Org AP (mostly for Nearlypolitans like my current profile pic) -- it is "Euro" style as well. It is probably my favorite widely available flour -- the taste and aroma is pretty awesome. It might work (well) as a stand in for the KA Euro Style flour you used.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Matthew on January 21, 2012, 12:44:45 PM
Brilliant job John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 21, 2012, 12:53:07 PM
Thanks Johnny and Matt!

Any idea how much starter I should use (very active, 100% hydration) or IDY or ADY? I can get cake yeast but do you think it is imperative for this style?

Johnny - I would use .3 IDY and 2% starter if you want to use both for a 24 hour cold ferment. All starter might not produce the type of crumb that we are after - I guess it depends on your starter's lift power. L&B might use CY, but I have no idea.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 21, 2012, 01:09:39 PM
John,

It's a beautiful pizza, but if you're striving for authenticity, I think you missed the mark in two areas.

First, there's not a chance this dough uses less than 12.5% protein flour. If you like the tender crumb, then by all means, go lower, but to get the characteristic chewiness, it has to be higher protein flour.

Secondly, this isn't cooked sauce (bold mine)

http://pmq.com/digital/20100607/36.html

Quote
Considered one of the best Sicilian slices in all of New York City, L&B Spumoni Gardens (spumonigardens. com) in Bensonhurst is right down the street from Coney Island and has been serving up old-fashioned spumoni since the 1930s, and pizza since the mid-1950s. Currently run by six members of the Barbati family, L&B is held in high regard by crust and sauce lovers alike, with customers claiming that the secret is definitely in the sauce—a secret that th the owners hold tight. “We use us San Marzano tomatoes, and it’s not really a cooked sauce, so it tastes really fresh,” says L&B president Lou Barbati.

Now what he means by 'not really' is obviously open for interpretation, but I take this to mean that the tomatoes have been cooked a bit during canning. The BPT video shows a sauce color that looks considerably cooked, but I think that's just lighting.  Just about every video I've seen shows the kind of bright red sauce that one sees from SMs out of the can.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 21, 2012, 01:27:05 PM
John,

It's a beautiful pizza, but if you're striving for authenticity, I think you missed the mark in two areas.

First, there's not a chance this dough uses less than 12.5% protein flour. If you like the tender crumb, then by all means, go lower, but to get the characteristic chewiness, it has to be higher protein flour.

Secondly, this isn't cooked sauce (bold mine)

http://pmq.com/digital/20100607/36.html

Now what he means by 'not really' is obviously open for interpretation, but I take this to mean that the tomatoes have been cooked a bit during canning. The BPT video shows a sauce color that looks considerably cooked, but I think that's just lighting.  Just about every video I've seen shows the kind of bright red sauce that one sees from SMs out of the can.

Yes, I completely agree I might need a higher protein flour for authenticity and the tighter crumb. I have some coming in that is 13.5 (Giusto's). I will use that next time and post the differences.

And I think that there is a huge difference in what you quoted as "not a cooked sauce", and what a cooked sauce is to a Sicilian. A cooked sauce might include pork, bones, etc. and cooked for 3-4 hours - or all day. I reduced the tomatoes for a fraction of that time. From my perspective, there is no way straight San Marzanos will get to the consistency I see in the pics of the final product after a 15 minute bake, which is dark and thick. Maybe they have a specific product that is thick to begin with.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 21, 2012, 01:32:29 PM
@scott123 & @dellavecchia: In person, the sauce is very bright red, no question. It is also both very acidic and very sweet at the same time, with a huge punch of flavor. They claim it is "uncooked" or mostly uncooked or whatever -- seems they are deliberately obscuring the facts a bit to maintain their secret. I can understand that, but obviously we still want to know :)! They may very well have something made for them...

I asked the other guy who does NYC pizza tours (not the guy in the vid in this thread) to look into it as I am pretty sure he can see what flour and tomatoes they use. When this info will be forthcoming I have no idea, but I will gently pester him :). To reiterate, he said he thought it was "low protein" flour (as far as NYC pizza flour goes) and he is one of the most knowledgeable people about NYC pizza (the ingredients and methods) there is. I am not saying this is the case (at all), I just wonder why my friend thinks it may be -- he must have seen something at some point to make him think this.

@dellavecchia: If firm enough my starter easily triples so it may very well be strong enough. I am gonna give it a try when I have enough extra loot to get the deli cheese and some fresh pecorino (right now I am just using stuff I happen to have on hand as money is tight). Thanks so much for giving me something to go on. So glad you used pretty much the same pan I will be so that the formula should carry over pretty well. Since I generally hand mix and knead getting the denser crumb will be a challenge for sure.

What kind of rolling pin (the heavy, handled kind or the gentle, solid wood tapered kind) are you/did you use and how hard did you roll it/press it out? Good idea to approximate the sheeter.

In a gas oven with a drawer broiler and without a convenction setting what might you think a good bake time and temp would be? Even with a blue steel pan I still have trouble getting the bottom to brown as fast as the top of square pies :(.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 21, 2012, 01:36:32 PM
http://pmq.com/digital/20100607/36.html

Scott - That article says they cook a full sheet for 10-15 at 500, then another 10-15 at 650. That is a lot of cooking. Do you think this is just because of the sheer volume of dough that is in a full pan? Or do you think that oil and sugar should be left out of the equation, the thickness factor jacked up even more, and try to get a 20-30 minute bake?

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 21, 2012, 02:13:10 PM
And I think that there is a huge difference in what you quoted as "not a cooked sauce", and what a cooked sauce is to a Sicilian. A cooked sauce might include pork, bones, etc. and cooked for 3-4 hours - or all day. I reduced the tomatoes for a fraction of that time. From my perspective, there is no way straight San Marzanos will get to the consistency I see in the pics of the final product after a 15 minute bake, which is dark and thick. Maybe they have a specific product that is thick to begin with.

John, that's an interesting theory about what Sicilians perceive to be a 'cooked sauce,' but we're talking about a family here that isn't Sicilian American. On their about us page

http://www.spumonigardens.com/aboutus.html

They list the pizzeria's patriarch as hailing from Torella Dei Lombardi, in Campania, not that far from Naples.  Now, it's possible that someone married a Sicilian somewhere along the way and that this recipe hails from that side of the family, but I think it's important to remember that Sicilian pizza's ties to Sicily are pretty tenuous, at least from a modern perspective.

Take a look at the tomatoes. As wonderful as SMs are, how common are SMs in Sicily?  From what I know about Sicilians, I would think using a Campanian tomato could be unpatriotic  ;D I've seen countless Sicilian American recipes, and not once has a SM tomato ever been mentioned.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 21, 2012, 02:19:18 PM
Scott - That article says they cook a full sheet for 10-15 at 500, then another 10-15 at 650. That is a lot of cooking

I noticed that as well. I'm 99.9% certain that's an error made by the author of the article- or maybe some kind of misinterpretation.  Unless the man v. food video is omitting part of the bake, it appears very much like a straight 15 minute bake.  The LBEMP video does do some pan time and then time out of the pan, so maybe, like the total cheese coverage, there might be some historical precedent, but I really don't see L&B getting that much oil on their decks.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 21, 2012, 02:38:55 PM
John, that pie looks great. Thanks for the super detailed instructions. But you need more pecorino!! I think you can never have too much! (disclaimer: I eat pasta cacio e pepe three nights a week)

I agree with Scott that the sauce likely isn't cooked. Have a look at my pie. IMHO, the sauce looks pretty close to the real thing, and I didn't cook it. I think its just about getting the right amount of water out. I do think its definitely possible that they add tomato paste. I will be using sugar in my next dough. I think thats a good call. Also, there's no way L&B cooks a pie twice. I watch them like a hawk when I go and I've never seen anything like that happening.

Scott: I tried my local deli's cheese and it turned out to be the fake "fresh" mozzarella, it tasted like a cheap Fior de Latte-not like Polly-o or grande flavor. I will try another deli next time. Because of this, the pie tasted like a grandma.

Here's the pie I made yesterday. I was trying to see whether I could make an "emergency" L&B pie. The result is that I failed. The crust texture was way off, and my cheese selection was wrong. If I wasn't going for an L&B pie though, this would be a great way to make a regular sicilian or grandma. The pie was awesome, just not L&B awesome. I think my sauce and pecorino decoration was spot on. If I had used the same recipe as the first time (no knead method) with these toppings, I would be so very close.



AT Flour (100%):    571.17 g  |  20.15 oz | 1.26 lbs
Water (71%):    405.53 g  |  14.3 oz | 0.89 lbs
IDY (.4%):    2.28 g | 0.08 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.76 tsp | 0.25 tbsp
Salt (2%):    11.42 g | 0.4 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.05 tsp | 0.68 tbsp
Grapeseed Oil (3.5%):    19.99 g | 0.71 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.44 tsp | 1.48 tbsp
Total (176.9%):   1010.39 g | 35.64 oz | 2.23 lbs | TF = 0.165

Started with 85F water, mixed and kneaded by hand 2 minutes. Rose for 1:45 in a bowl. Covered the dough ball in 1tbsp oil, then stretched (very roughly, to get out most of the air) and pan rise for 15 minutes. Topped and baked exactly 15 minutes.

The sauce here is uncooked and based on restaurant depot DOP tomatoes. I scooped the tomatoes out one-by-one with a ladle into my blender, and any extra puree that came with it went into the blender. This made it a little thicker than last time. Last time I only used tomatoes--no puree. Perhaps I should make a new thread for an emergency sicilian?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 21, 2012, 03:03:44 PM
Yup, that's not a happy L&B crumb, Tyler  ;D Glad it worked out well for you, though.  Wasn't the crust a little taste deprived?

John's got the right idea about cheese.  If you can't get Grande/Grande clone, then Boar's Head is your next best bet.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 21, 2012, 03:30:16 PM
@sum1else: What do you think accounts for the diff in the crumb vs your other try? I mostly don't use a mixer for dough (make a lot of bread Tartine style and have such a small kitchen it is cumbersome to break out applicances) so I am likely to take a similar approach to you, but in consideration of what @dellavecchia is doing as well. Between the two of you things are getting pretty close. Pretty darn cool guys :)!

@all: I usually go to L&B 2-3 times a year in the summer (it is close to me but not that close). Is anyone close enough that they could take a peak in the dumpster there (for tomato cans etc.)?

I wonder if the twice baked thing is stemming from confusion about them putting the pie directly on the deck for a bit, which I have def seen them do.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 21, 2012, 04:58:58 PM
John, that's an interesting theory about what Sicilians perceive to be a 'cooked sauce,' but we're talking about a family here that isn't Sicilian American.

Scott - Yes, good point. Still, I have no reservation in saying that a Neapolitan would have the same attitude to a long cooked sauce. The "sugo" is a southern Italian dish and known to Sicilians as well as NP's.

Johnny - Looking forward to seeing your starter-only attempt. It may not be authentic, but the taste is phenomenal. I bake mine in the middle of a gas oven, and get plenty of browning on the bottom. I would try the lowest rack - 450 is my limit for 15 minutes.

Tyler - That is a short dough! I think it is amazing that you got the spring you did in such a short period of time.

So I guess you guys may be convincing me that the sauce is not reduced. Johnny's description of "bright and sweet" at the same time describes the sauce I made exactly, but it may be they are draining them really well and adding ingredients cold. If that is the case, I would leave out the paste.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on January 21, 2012, 05:07:55 PM
@dellavecchia: From http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/l-and-b-spumoni-gardens-best-sicilian-square-pizza-slice-brooklyn-nyc-review.html (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/06/l-and-b-spumoni-gardens-best-sicilian-square-pizza-slice-brooklyn-nyc-review.html):

Quote
"The cheese acts as dam against the deluge of sauce and keeps the dough relatively arid. It doesn't seem to do much else. It is applied in such sparring amounts that it barely registers on the palate and is no match for the dense layer of San Marzano tomato sauce. The latter is almost preposterously sweet but also lipsmackingly tart. While the sauce is perfumed with oregano, it is mostly just intensely "tomatoey." If you didn't grow up on it, it may seem strange and alien to you, falling into the category of tastes that need to be acquired. If you did grow up on it, it is a taste that is required. As much a part of life as the rattle of the elevated train and the heat of summer."

Also in regards to me feeling that the dough really isn't that wet (or moisture evaporates from it like lightning):

Quote
"But whereas most Sicilian crust at least aspires toward airiness and chewiness, the dough at L & B is dense and fractures rather more abruptly. It is not leaden, there is some give, but it is altogether more brittle, the bottom deeply burnished."
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 21, 2012, 05:33:49 PM
Scott-the crust was lacking, but still tastier than a Sicilian from let's say Rays or Abitinos. I'll look for boars head. My deli was out and only had the store brand.

Johnny, the difference in crumb is probably caused by so many things. I utilized a short rise, kneaded this time, and I was very rough with the dough.

John-  remember I use a very forgiving flour and I used hot water to force the yeast to start fast.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jose L. Piedra on January 22, 2012, 04:15:00 AM
Great thread and nice looking pies all around.

Here are some opinions and observations for whatever they're worth:

-Unless there's something I *really* don't understand, the claim in the PMQ article that they're baked for 10-15 minutes at 500 and then for another 10-15 at 650 seems preposterous. I'll say that they look exactly the way I would expect a square pie made with standard bread flour to look after 15-18 minutes in the oven at 500.

-Cooked v. uncooked sauce: Uncooked sauce on top of a square pie will tend to have a distinctively fruity, almost jam-like taste (whatever the type of tomato used) that won't be to everyone's liking. Try it and decide for yourself. Sicilian traditions do tend to call for a cooked sauce, but L&B has little in common with traditional Sicilian pizza other than shape and the order of toppings, and so looking to Sicilian traditions for clues as to what they do with their sauce may not prove to be all that productive.

-In the pseudo-L&B vid, you can see the guy actually drizzle oil from the bottle onto the dough even though he already flipped it in the oiled pan. I wonder what, if any, actual purpose oiling the top of the dough serves, and whether or not this step can or should be skipped. 

-The same video has the guy doing the last few minutes of the bake directly on the oven floor in order to "crisp it up". I wonder exactly what he means by that. Does it imply that the bottom would be soft or soggy if he didn't? (I have a hard time imagining how that could happen after a twenty minute bake unless the dough is decidedly under-kneaded).

JLP
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on January 22, 2012, 12:46:44 PM
Jose,

I agree, there's no way they cook it that long. As to the sauce, there's probably some room for everyone to choose their own flavor. I think that guy uses too much oil, but what do I know. For his "crisping" comment, remember in that video he isn't using an oven anything like what L&B has (see photo). L&B has built these stands inside their deck and it looks like there's only an extra 2 inches between the pie and the top of the oven (they can fit 4 pies in one oven). They must be transferring a lot more heat than this guy is able to.  That's my theory anyway..

Also, another cool thing that L&B has (I've never seen anywhere else, but I don't know if its unique) is the spatula you see in the bottom of the picture. It has notches cut out of it so that the L&B guys can grab the pan with the spatula and pull it out, then turn it 180 degrees with ease. Very nifty.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jose L. Piedra on January 22, 2012, 11:26:06 PM
Good call about the ovens at the two places- they're radically different and it probably helps explain a few things.

JLP
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on January 29, 2012, 05:23:06 PM
This time I had 13% protein flour, and mixed it to the near-window pane stage. Used CY and an overnight cold ferment for flavor. I used uncooked San Marzanos with sugar, oregano, pepper, and salt added. The cheese was sliced too thick, and it poked through the sauce unfortunately even though I had a ton of it. And I used more percorino. But I think I nailed the crumb. If I could get my hands on a better mixer, I might even be able to oxidize the dough even more.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on January 29, 2012, 09:06:21 PM
I literally just walked in the door from visiting a Brooklyn Sicilian pizzeria (Mr. Bruno's), who claims to sell a pizza that's better than L&B ("L&B isn't the same since they changed owners."). Based upon the appearance of their slice and yours, I think you nailed it.

Btw, there's absolutely nothing wrong about cheese poking through sauce  ;D

The owner did stress the importance of getting a pie straight from the oven, so it looks like, at some point, we're going to have to go back.

The cheese on this particular pie appeared to have full coverage, and the owner confirmed that he uses uncooked San Marzanos.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on February 06, 2012, 07:06:06 PM
While I am not officially obsessed with this pizza, I just can't get enough of it. KABF with a 2 day cold ferment.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on February 06, 2012, 08:39:32 PM
Looking good! I made one this weekend but burnt it. It still tasted good, just not very pretty
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Saiwu on February 17, 2012, 06:41:18 PM
Guys, please forgive my total noob intrusion ( I still need to painstakingly consult the glossary to even understand the ingredients), but I too, am obsessed with L&B pizza (well, all great pizza). For those near NJ, there is a place called Bruno's in Clifton which is clearly a clone of L&B. I'm guessing that the owner there may be far less guarded about providing info. John, I see you are in Mass. I am in CT. I have a pretty well equipped kitchen--commercial type kitchen-aid mixer and a Bakers Pride dual deck pizza oven (electric but cooks the same or better than gas). If you want a place to experiment I'd welcome the tutoring as the learning curve for me will be quite steep.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on February 18, 2012, 10:05:34 AM
Guys, please forgive my total noob intrusion ( I still need to painstakingly consult the glossary to even understand the ingredients), but I too, am obsessed with L&B pizza (well, all great pizza). For those near NJ, there is a place called Bruno's in Clifton which is clearly a clone of L&B. I'm guessing that the owner there may be far less guarded about providing info. John, I see you are in Mass. I am in CT. I have a pretty well equipped kitchen--commercial type kitchen-aid mixer and a Bakers Pride dual deck pizza oven (electric but cooks the same or better than gas). If you want a place to experiment I'd welcome the tutoring as the learning curve for me will be quite steep.

Saiwu - Thanks for the offer! But this pizza is actually very easy to make. Just get a blue steel pan from Amazon. Here is a recipe that is adapted for extra flavor and a home oven - use the site dough calculator:

100% Flour (King Arthur Bread Flour)
62% Water (room temp)
.4% IDY
2.5% salt
3% oil
1% sugar

TF: 0.18

Mix to combine in your mixer, then rest 20 minutes. Mix on medium-low for 4-6 minutes until the dough starts to stretch without breaking easily. Rest 1 hour covered. Ball and then put in the fridge for at least one day - up to 2 days. Oil the pan, then take cold dough out and press into pan as far to the edges as you can, pressing out air. Let sit for 1/2 hour, then press to edges keeping the dough even throughout. Top with slices of deli mozz, not too thick, and with spaces between slices. Top HEAVILY with San Marzanos that have been crushed finely with salt, sugar, black pepper and oregano added. Leave an inch border of exposed dough. For a 15.765x11.825 pan I use a full 28oz can. Top that pie with a generous dose of grated percorino cheese, and then generous swirls of olive oil. Bake at 480 for 15 minutes. The edges should get dark, crispy and slightly burnt.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Saiwu on February 18, 2012, 11:09:42 AM
John, what size blue steel pan?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Saiwu on February 18, 2012, 11:11:49 AM
Ok, got it. Thx.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Saiwu on February 18, 2012, 09:31:16 PM
John, when you say "oil," is that extra virgin olive oil or something else? Sorry for the dumb question...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on February 19, 2012, 09:53:31 AM
John, when you say "oil," is that extra virgin olive oil or something else? Sorry for the dumb question...

I use olive oil - but any oil will do.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on February 20, 2012, 06:20:43 PM
I had a quick stop at L&B today. It's so good. Anyway, I measured the half sheet I took home at 17.5 x 12, and the outer crust is 1" thick. I couldn't see any supplies at all. I went around back and even looked near the dumpster.

I noticed that on the uncooked pies the romano cheese is very coarsely grated. It may even be food processed and not grated. I also was able to see that one oven was set to 500F.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on February 20, 2012, 11:17:16 PM
Finally got around to making an "L&B-influenced" pie using only my home-cultured (2 year old) sourdough as a leaven. Wasn't half-bad. 2 more tries and I think it will be about where I want it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on February 21, 2012, 09:22:14 AM
Finally got around to making an "L&B-influenced" pie using only my home-cultured (2 year old) sourdough as a leaven. Wasn't half-bad. 2 more tries and I think it will be about where I want it.

Awesome. I did an all starter last week and the flavor was amazing. I think there is a lot of headroom in the choice of yeast selection with this pie, because the dough is heavily mixed for a tight crumb. The delicacy of starters and an open crumb is not a concern.

I have been playing with .17-.19 to get that extreme height. Tyler confirmed that the height is pretty high. I made one last night using IDY. This one was cooked at 500 for 12 minutes.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on March 11, 2012, 09:28:51 PM
In the Style of L&B.......

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 11, 2012, 10:52:34 PM
Nice work guys.  I'll admit I haven't given this thread much thought until I had a square from L&B over the weekend.  It's a great pie and one I want to start working on soon.   John, you are right about the intensive mix, tight crumb, and height.   Despite the thickness and apparent use of oil or shortening in the dough, the crust was light and not heavy in mouth feel or on the stomach.  

Kelly and others pointed out to me that their pies are baked twice.  I was told that during rush hour, pies are par baked at low temps in "holding ovens" until they are ordered, then they are transferred to the ovens where they are baked.  Their ovens also have a divider in which the pan is rotated from the bottom to the upper level I believe.  Probably to bake the bottom until proper browness, and then moved up top to finish off the pies.  Several times, I saw guys pulling the pies out of the oven and checking the bottoms for doneness and then putting them back into the ovens.

They also had pies topped and sitting on racks next to the ovens.  I wasn't sure if these pies were not baked yet or par baked.  Likely unbaked and waiting to be parbaked as the oven space is free.  If this is so, then the pies sort of move along an assembly line sort of speak.  

Some photos from L&B.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on March 12, 2012, 07:36:55 AM
In the Style of L&B.......



Paul - Outstanding! I love the crumb and you got really good coloration and height. What flour did you use?

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on March 12, 2012, 07:40:32 AM
I'll admit I haven't given this thread much thought until I had a square from L&B over the weekend.

Chau - Thanks very much for the pics and insight. I have to admit that I make this pie at least once a week now. I am addicted. It is very easy to duplicate. I am starting to experiment with higher hydrations and an open crumb, where you still get the lightness and slightly underdone dough at the top near the cheese. Have fun and post your results.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on March 12, 2012, 09:59:42 AM
Thanks John.

Quote
What flour did you use?

KABF.  Is there another flour? ;D

72% = HR, IDY = .5%, Salt = 2.25%, Oil = 3%, Sugar = 1%, TF = 0.16
Hand mix, turns and folds every 20 min for 2 hours.  Into the fridge for about 18 hours.  To room temp for 1 hour. Gently fold, cover and rest 1 hour.  Into pans, cover and rest 1 hour.  Top and bake @ 475 about 18 min.

Like I said, "In the Style of". Not he tighter crumb you guys are shooting for.  Tasty though...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 12, 2012, 10:13:14 AM
Paul, I'd eat a few of those squares any day.  Looks great.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on April 09, 2012, 03:30:28 PM
What's been the best method/recipe of getting a L&B style pie so far? Looking to take a crack at this soon.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on April 09, 2012, 10:31:32 PM
Quote
Insert Quote
What's been the best method/recipe of getting a L&B style pie so far?

The only one that didn't appeal to me is the one that Scott123 posted here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17168.msg167907.html#msg167907 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17168.msg167907.html#msg167907)

and that is from the L&B themselves!  It looks like a custard....

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 09, 2012, 10:46:12 PM
I agree Paul, that one looks like [email protected]!   The crumb shot I posted up above looks much more appetizing and I can tell you that square I ate was dang good.  I'm mixing up my first L&B clone dough tonight!  I hope it turns out okay.  Will bake it up tomorrow.  Are most of you guys cold fermenting overnight in the pan itself? 

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on April 09, 2012, 11:14:21 PM
I agree Paul, that one looks like [email protected]!   The crumb shot I posted up above looks much more appetizing and I can tell you that square I ate was dang good.  I'm mixing up my first L&B clone dough tonight!  I hope it turns out okay.  Will bake it up tomorrow.  Are most of you guys cold fermenting overnight in the pan itself? 

Chau
First, yeah totally that pic that Scott posted is distorted in such a way that in looks unlike the real thing. I've eaten L&B quite a few times and it never looks like custard. It's a good Sicilian pizza with a great sauce on top of the (little) cheese. Anyone I know who has had it that has any worthwhile opinion has enjoyed it.

--

Chau, retarding or not won't make much of a difference if it is only for a night. Do if it helps your schedule or just go straight to the bake once it is adequately spread and proofed in the pan. This is a forgiving style. The intensive mix I find to be unnecessary. The crumb of the real thing is pretty tender and I find I can get a medium-dense crumb with very gentle hand-mixing (and manipulating other factors) no problem. There are a few ways to arrive at the same end crumb characteristics.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on April 09, 2012, 11:27:00 PM
Quote
Into the fridge for about 18 hours.  To room temp for 1 hour. Gently fold, cover and rest 1 hour.  Into pans, cover and rest 1 hour.  Top and bake @ 475 about 18 min.

That is how I've done it last few times (sort of like I do everything these days).  It might give you a more open crumb than you might want.....it probably doesn't need the middle fold and hour rest.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 10, 2012, 12:31:27 AM
First, yeah totally that pic that Scott posted is distorted in such a way that in looks unlike the real thing. I've eaten L&B quite a few times and it never looks like custard. It's a good Sicilian pizza with a great sauce on top of the (little) cheese. Anyone I know who has had it that has any worthwhile opinion has enjoyed it.

--

Chau, retarding or not won't make much of a difference if it is only for a night. Do if it helps your schedule or just go straight to the bake once it is adequately spread and proofed in the pan. This is a forgiving style. The intensive mix I find to be unnecessary. The crumb of the real thing is pretty tender and I find I can get a medium-dense crumb with very gentle hand-mixing (and manipulating other factors) no problem. There are a few ways to arrive at the same end crumb characteristics.

Johnny I agree with you about CF.  My question wasn't so much if folks were cold fermenting, but more if they were doing it in the pan itself or separate and then putting it into the pan and letting it rise.  I don't think it matters much and may just be a preference between the 2 techniques.  For this first go around, I decided to spread the dough in the pan and cold ferment it in the pan.  That way it can relax, spread, and rise in the pan.  I feel the thickness and crumb will be more uniform that way.   

Also, sorry I didn't get back to you about your thoughts on intensive mix earlier, but I absolutely agree.  There are definitely several ways to arrive at the end crumb structure and texture wtihout a lot of mixing.  The tightness of the crumb is only in part due to the mixing, but the strength of the flour, the hydration, and the use of oil in the dough also play their role.   For tonight's dough, I used a weak BF, moderate hydration, and 4% shortening.  I only mixed it for 4min and hope that it is sufficient for the desired crumb.  I'll post some pics up tomorrow.   

Thanks for the help.
Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on April 10, 2012, 11:40:31 AM
The intensive mix is needed for the high protein flour that they are using, probably upwards of 14% and spring wheat variety (All trumps or the like). That allows them to achieve the soft texture and height.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on April 10, 2012, 01:04:20 PM
John, it depends a lot on batch size. Say you are making enough for just one pie -- it is very easy to hand mix to the degree needed for the desired crumb.

Also there is a "lower protein" version of the All Trumps and some have mentioned to me they believe the flour may not be the highest protein (someone who gives a tour that stops at L&B and is widely regarded as an expert on NYC pizza). Personally I am inclined to think it is some version of All Trumps in all likelihood but there is no certainty about it from anyone so far. Living near L&B I have it pretty regularly and I assure you that my AP based, hand turned/kneaded dough has a virtually identical crumb. In their store, L&B may very well mix a lot, but for those making a home sized version, I haven't found it to be at all necessary. If the pan proofing time is capped at "all it needs" vs a long time, the crumb is still pretty tight and a mid to high 60's hydration level is just about right also. Further, having some oil in the dough aids in keeping the crumb tigher than it would be otherwise. The people with the more open crumb are likely achieving that from having more water in their dough and a longer proof and/or longer time from last shaping/folding etc. and in some cases don't have any oil in their dough. If the oil is added at the beginning of dough making it shortens the gluten strands enough to mostly assure the proper crumb.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on April 10, 2012, 01:17:35 PM
John, it depends a lot on batch size. Say you are making enough for just one pie -- it is very easy to hand mix to the degree needed for the desired crumb.

Also there is a "lower protein" version of the All Trumps and some have mentioned to me they believe the flour may not be the highest protein (someone who gives a tour that stops at L&B and is widely regarded as an expert on NYC pizza). Personally I am inclined to think it is some version of All Trumps in all likelihood but there is no certainty about it from anyone so far. Living near L&B I have it pretty regularly and I assure you that my AP based, hand turned/kneaded dough has a virtually identical crumb. In their store, L&B may very well mix a lot, but for those making a home sized version, I haven't found it to be at all necessary. If the pan proofing time is capped at "all it needs" vs a long time, the crumb is still pretty tight and a mid to high 60's hydration level is just about right also. Further, having some oil in the dough aids in keeping the crumb tigher than it would be otherwise. The people with the more open crumb are likely achieving that from having more water in their dough and a longer proof and/or longer time from last shaping/folding etc. and in some cases don't have any oil in their dough. If the oil is added at the beginning of dough making it shortens the gluten strands enough to mostly assure the proper crumb.

Sorry, I meant to infer exactly what you are saying - the home user would not need to follow their workflow to get the same results. I would be very surprised if they used a low protein flour given the holding pattern they use and the extreme height involved. But you never know.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on April 10, 2012, 01:33:29 PM
Just pointing out that no one has come out and said they are certain of the flour/s used (and what they are), unfortunately.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 10, 2012, 07:37:33 PM
So here is my L&B spumoni clone.  I was really happy with the results, but have some new ideas to try out next time and a bit more tweaking.  

Lots of unknowns for me for this bake.  I wasn't sure if I would do a straight bake or do a par bake with a small layer of sauce.  I was afraid all the sauce and cheese would weigh down the dough and not let it rise during the bake.   I wasn't sure what temp to bake and how long.  As it stood, I had to change up the temp a few times for this bake and ended up having to finish the bottom of the pie on top of the stove.   But I know what I need to change up for next time.  

Anyways, after all the shenanigans the pie came out great.  A testament to how fairly easy it is to make or hard to screw up as I have heard some of you guys post about.  

Topped pie, finished baked, and first cut.  Yikes the crumb looks gummy, custardy!  Damn!  
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 10, 2012, 07:40:46 PM
A few more minutes of rest and the crumb was looking better.  I started eating and noticed I even got that tiny layer of gummy unbaked dough on top like L&B.  It could be the cheese too, or a bit of both.   I need a darker bottom next time.  

Overall the pie was really good as I ate about 4 squares.  It was slightly heavier than L&B's but next time I will use HG flour instead of BF and see if that doesn't lighten up the crumb.  
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on April 10, 2012, 07:49:14 PM
Fantastic Chau. You nailed the crumb. Did you use sugar in the dough?

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: JimmyG on April 10, 2012, 08:21:07 PM
Looks great Chau! I think you have hit the nail on the head with this clone. Just curious, what did you use for a pan? The photo is a little dark, was this a standard cast-iron pan?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 10, 2012, 09:51:31 PM
Thanks John and Jim.   John, I used 1% honey in this formula.

Jim, the dish is a pampered chef ceramic deep dish.  You can see another picture of it here.  

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4452.msg92314.html#msg92314

Look at the crumb on that PH clone pie and notice how close it is to the L&B spumoni crumb.  ;)  :angel:

I think a standard cast iron pan will work great for a smallish pie.  I think next time I do one of these, I will bake in a cast iron pan.  
Thanks for the idea Jimmy!

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dellavecchia on April 11, 2012, 07:08:49 AM
Chau - I assuming that you started with this recipe that you referenced in the other thread:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/panpizza.php

I am curious if you did the 10 minute mixing as the workflow describes. Maybe you can elaborate on any variations? As for bake temp, I have found fairly high temps (around 500) work well to get that char on the outside crust using a steel pan. I also use 1.5% sugar and 4% oil. I think the oil is high though.

John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on April 11, 2012, 10:59:33 AM
That's really nice, Chau.  A few thoughts.

Get rid of the pan. Brooklyn Sicilians are longer bakes, so you don't need blazingly fast heat transfer, but you need a lot faster transfer than what ceramic will give you. Cast Iron is also going to be too slow.  You need a fast transfer on the bottom during the first part of the bake (the hearth component) to maximize oven spring.  Aluminum is your best bet- as long as you can keep it from warping- although, it looked to me that many of L&B's pans were a bit warped, so maybe the superior conductivity of the aluminum helped to resolve uneven heating from having a warped pan contact the stone hearth unevenly. I would make sure to go with heavy gauge aluminum.

Along with a heavy gauge aluminum pan, you'll need a hearth with a pretty high heat transfer.  I don't know what L&B sets their ovens at, but my money is that it's the max, or close to it. This could, imo, be close to 4-5 minute traditional NY heat transfer we're talking about here.  I'm just brainstorming here, but a hearth that can bake a 4-5 minute pie, with the delay of the pan, could be 7ish minutes.  I wasn't paying attention to when they move the pie to the rack, but it could be 7.5 on the hearth, 7.5 minutes on the rack. If your bottom burns quickly, then you can always dial back the pre-heat on the hearth, but, to begin with, I'd go pretty intense (thin stone/very high temp or thick, conductive stone, high temp).

Keep the BF. L&B is pretty chewy, so it might be 14%.  If you feel like it wasn't chewy enough, then, I'd go up to HG.  Otherwise, I'd rely on the pan switch to give you a bit more oven spring.

Lower the TF. I would trim your dough ball weight by at least a quarter.  This should help with oven spring as well.

I think you've shown that this pizza can come out of the oven with a wet custardy looking crumb, but, given a few moments, the crumb will dry up a bit and get breadier.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 11, 2012, 11:27:49 AM
John, when coming up with the formula I used, I faintly remember making a PH clone with a similar crumb. Then recently, newcomer BBH posted his deep dish pie that also had a similar crumb.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18592.msg181239.html#msg181239

Between those two recipes and the ones posted in this thread, I came up with something similar using my workflow for making NY pizza.

Sam's Club BF
Water 60%
IDY 0.6%
Salt 1.5%
Honey 1%
Dry milk 2%
Shortening 4%

Straight mix 4mins.  Rest 30m, gently ball.  Rest another 30m, spread into oiled dish.  Cf overnight and pull 2-3 hours prior to baking.

Thanks Scott.  No can do on the pan until I can source a small steel or aluminum pan.  I have a large steel pan, but it would make too much pizza.  For now though,  the ceramic pan works fine.   I know what adjustments I need to make to make the ceramic pan work even better.

TF - L&B squares are pretty thick.  I thought 0.18 was just right.  25% thinner would be too thin for a clone IMO.
Now with using HG flour, I will probably go with a 0.16 TF and see what I get.

Chewiness - Scotty, the only one square I had there, I didn't think it was chewy at all.  I thought it was quite tender, light, and easy to eat.  On a chewiness scale of 1-10 with 10 being shoe leather chewy, I'd gve them a 2, maybe 3 max.   Did you get a chewy square?  I wonder what Johnny and others who have eaten there a lot think about the chewiness.

As far as my results, the texture was really close with theirs being a bit lighter.  The crumb also looks very close.  I imagine the difference is in the specific flour and oven.  
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 11, 2012, 11:31:11 AM
A few thoughts for next time.  I'll use HG bromated flour, drop the oil to 3%, decrease the dry milk to 1% or ditch it.  Faster and hotter bake.

One other thing.  I'd like to reserve 75% or more of the pecorino or grated cheese to be applied post bake.  I think it would look nicer and taste better.  

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on April 11, 2012, 11:43:59 AM
Another way to encourage oven spring/lightness is to cover the pizza with foil for the first third of its bake (steaming it a bit) and/or let it proof longer. I don't think you have to use HG flour to get it lighter (nor bromated). You could though, for sure.

Parbaking would be fine too, but since the sauce buffers the cheese from burning, might as well do it in one shot.

I like the idea of putting most of the cheese on post bake. Probably "pop" more then.

I find the best oven rack placement has a lot to do with where the heat source is. Chau what kind of oven do you have and where is the heating element? Getting the rack "right" will create an undercrust that is adequately firm and burnished -- too close to the heating element and it will be burned and won't release from the pan.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 11, 2012, 12:22:29 PM
Johnny I agree with letting it proof up a bit more.  That was another concern I had doing this the first time.  I was afraid of over proofing and collapsing so I probably under proofed it a bit.  I did do a par bake for the but next time, and for the sake of simplicity, I'll do a straight bake.

I also agree about the HG bromated flour maybe not being necessary.  I'll try it just to see the difference in this pie.  To be honest, my hydration was a tad low for this bake, so if I use ths BF again, I'll bump it up 2% points.  Rightly so since my environment is drier than most.  That bit more of hydration should lighten the crumb up a bit more. 

I have a Viking gas oven, one of their newer ones with the broiler element providing most of the heat.  I have heat coming from the bottom but it's not much.  I completely agree about finding the right rack position for each oven.  For the bake I baked it on the lowest rack (furthest from the broiler) and with a stone temp of 500.  For the next try, I'll move it up to the 3rd race from the bottom and load with a stone temp of 650f.  That should get me closer.  That is unless I find a small steel or aluminum deep dish pan before then.

So any ideas about the chewiness or TF?  Do you think my pie is too thick? 

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on April 11, 2012, 12:28:45 PM
Thanks Scott.  No can do on the pan until I can source a small steele or aluminum pan.  I have a large aluminum pan, but it would make too much pizza.  For now though,  the ceramic pan works fine.   I know what adjustments I need to make to make the ceramic pan work even better.

The pan is, imo, the most critical aspect of Sicilian. Now, I know that you're the master baker and can pretty much create airy crumbs on command, but I really think this particular pan is too much of a handicap.  If you're leaning towards smaller pans, they don't have to be heavy duty, as smaller pans have better resistance to warping.  In other words, any non teflon aluminum cake pan will perform beautifully. Sam's Club, Walmart and Target should all have something suitable.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 11, 2012, 12:44:09 PM
Thank you for the suggestions Scott.  Come to think of it, I do have a springform pan for making cheesecake that would be the perfect size and depth for making small pies.  It would have a diamond textured bottom though.   I will also look at Walmart and Target for a smallish deep sided pan.  If anyone has a link for a good heavy duty 12x12 blue steel pan, I'd be willing to spend the extra money for one. 

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on April 11, 2012, 12:54:24 PM
Chau, if it's between a diamond pattern and ceramic, go with the diamond pattern. Ideally, though, you'll want something flat to contact the stone evenly.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on April 11, 2012, 02:03:38 PM

If anyone has a link for a good heavy duty 12x12 blue steel pan, I'd be willing to spend the extra money for one.  

Chau

Chau,

Peter listed where steel pans can be purchased at Reply 2 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13687.msg137295.html#msg137295  

I did purchase some steel pans at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16473.msg160865.html#msg160865 and so far have used the steel pans for Victory Pig, Jet’s, and now the Sicilian pizza I am trying.  I really like the steel pans.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on April 11, 2012, 02:07:47 PM
Chau, as far as TF, it is important to remember that L&B is subject to a lot of the same factors/variability we are. Their pizza is not identical throughout the day -- taller and shorter depending. It is a good reminder that all these pizzas are not static things even though when evaluating them it sort of seems as though they are (I am more reminding myself of this -- it is a good reminder). People get the idea that they go once to L&B and then everyone else that comes gets a pie of the same height. Close, but there is still some variability. So....I think you are close enough to the "right height", but dialing it down ever so slightly might better represent a typical L&B pie. The amount of rise and spring are clearly factors as well. Next time I go, I'll measure it and share that here.

I attribute the general lack of chewiness to the oil in the dough. As we know HG or almost HG flours tend to tighten up a bit as they sit, so I imagine when L&B is rocking it isn't chewy (really not at all) but at slower times it might be a little. But on the whole, I definately don't consider it chewy. A pie with a lot of durum flour in it -- now that is legitimately chewy.

This is the 1/4 sheet pan I some times use for small pies -- it is sold all over:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=quarter+sheet+aluminum+pan&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1138&bih=710&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3760865065157620209&sa=X&ei=-MWFT5e0DoLn0QGX6PDbBw&ved=0CJ0BEPICMAU
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 11, 2012, 06:36:20 PM
Thanks for the links Norma.  If I can't find something suitable locally, I'll order from one of those links.

Johnny, thanks for the notes on TF.  TBH, I'm not really obsessed with getting the TF just right.  Ball park is good enough for me.   From the looks of it, the squares in the pic Scott posted look at least 10% thicker than what I posted.  And what I posted is on par with the thickness of the squares we had on the tour.  But I will say that after giving it more thought I will happily agree with Scott on the TF.  I do personally feel that the pie is unbalanced.   That is too much crust for the sauce and cheese, especially the cheese.  

I think for future tries, I will take Scotty's advice and drop the TF down by 25% or so and maybe add a bit more cheese to bring more balance to the pie.  

Good to know that their pizza isn't relatively chewy on a normal basis.  The square I had was very light, tender, and soft from what I remember. Thanks for the link as well.  

Wanted to say thanks to Tyler for starting this thread and to those who have contributed.  It's nice to be able to make somethng similar in the home setting since I live so far away.

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on April 15, 2012, 11:40:06 PM
Starting to be the go to simple pie around here.  Cheapo teflon pans seem to work o.k. also.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 16, 2012, 12:01:19 AM
Nice job Paul, what TF are you using there?  

Had a few squares retoasted a few days ago and they are still quite good for a reheat.  
I just picked up this small 9x12" serving tray.  It feels heavy gauge, but I'm not quite sure if it's aluminum or steel.  I think it is aluminum.  Anyways it is only 1" deep so it will force me to make slightly thinner sicillian pies.   ;)

I also saw the deeper 2.5" steel serving trays at my local Shamrock food distributor store but didn't go for that b/c I thought it might make it abit harder to get the pie out of the tray.  
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on April 16, 2012, 12:25:21 AM
Quote
what TF are you using there?

I've settled in at 0.16
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on April 16, 2012, 09:00:55 AM
Paul,

Nice job!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on May 11, 2012, 09:39:47 AM
Everyone's pies are looking really good! I've been swamped, but I'll have some time to keep playing with this recipe soon.

If anyone is in NYC, you should check out Madison Square Eats before June 1. There is a vendor (from Palermo!) selling authentic Sfincione.. The crust/crumb looks spot on identical to L&B, but I haven't tried it yet. http://midtownlunch.com/2012/05/11/heres-what-a-week-of-gorging-at-mad-sq-eats-looks-like/antica-sfincione/ (http://midtownlunch.com/2012/05/11/heres-what-a-week-of-gorging-at-mad-sq-eats-looks-like/antica-sfincione/)
Title: Maybe some helpful info for reverse enginnering L&B
Post by: rohfan on June 09, 2012, 05:50:12 PM
FWIW, I had the pleasure of eating at L&B twice over the past two weeks because I was in the neighborhood for work. On one of those visits there was a Cremosa delivery truck parked outside the restaurant and it looked like they were making a delivery. They supply pizza sauce and cheese, apparently, as was noted on the side of the truck.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on June 15, 2012, 01:38:32 PM
It looks like L&B has been in the news lately: http://screen.yahoo.com/pizza-almost-starts-mafia-war-29666779.html?pb_list=23dce613-c500-43f0-9134-70e58b73187a. For more details, see http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/06/mobsters-square-off-in-pizza-sauce-dispute.html. As far as I know, no bodies have been found in the Hudson River.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on June 15, 2012, 04:33:27 PM
Quote
It looks like L&B has been in the news lately:

Well, that explains the tomato sauce hand print on our front door the other day :o
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: sum1else on July 15, 2012, 02:13:44 PM
Ha! If only it was this easy...

http://www.animalnewyork.com/2012/lb-spumoni-gardens-notoriously-delicious-square-slice-deconstructed/ (http://www.animalnewyork.com/2012/lb-spumoni-gardens-notoriously-delicious-square-slice-deconstructed/)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott123 on July 15, 2012, 02:53:04 PM
I applaud their passion, and the backstory had some interesting elements, but that recipe has fail written all over it.

I think the biggest error is that they reference 'low moisture' cheese in the article, but use fresh in the recipe. And then, of course, you've got the volumetric measurements and the KABF.

'The Square's' slice was recently reviewed side by side by Adam Kuban on Slice. It's strange, he had posted a shot of a 'Square' slice in a previous week in review, and that looked nothing like L&Bs, but in the review, they looked extremely close.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pizzablogger on July 16, 2012, 01:51:24 PM
Starting to be the go to simple pie around here.  Cheapo teflon pans seem to work o.k. also.



That side/crumb shot looks delicious. The amount of sauce used is what I personally prefer as well.

Outstanding looking pie! --K
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on September 08, 2012, 12:22:03 AM
About 11 a.m., I realized it would stay cool enough to actually use my kitchen oven for the first time in eight or nine weeks.  So I made two emergency L&B like pies.  Not bad for a six hour dough, but in all honesty, the sauce with a heavy hit of white pepper saved the day......

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TheBoomer on November 07, 2012, 03:43:44 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone.

I've been making L&B style pizza, based on what I;ve learned here for the past 3 months or so and I think I have as close as I'm going to get.

I'm using the recipe in the first post with KA Bread Flour.  For sauce I'm starting Nina San Marzano and then season to taste, going especially heavy on the oregano but light on the sugar.  My sugar doesn't like her sauce too sweet and I know where my bread is buttered ;). Can of Niina are $3.79 for 106oz can at Costco.  I also use a part-skim low moisture Mozzarella.

After mixing the dough, It goes in the fridge for approx 18-20 hours.  Then I let it sit for about an hour, then press it into the tray, top with cheese and let that sit for another hour.  Top with sauce and pecorino and bake to 18 minutes at 490.

One time I made a big mistake and forget the pecorino romano.  I won't make that mistake again :)

The local's( family and friends) think it's the best pizza they've ever had (of course they haven't been to L&B).  On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a piping hot tray from L&B right out of the oven, I'd give it an 8.8.

! do have 2 questions.  The first is I saw post about L&B where someone mentioned adding sugar to the dough.  Why and how much would you recommend.

The second question is what's the best pan to use.  I didn't want to invest in pans until I knew that I could get a great pie.  Now I'm looking for pans.

I've seen a few threads about pans and it seems that blue steel is the way to go.  I was wondering what people thought about these 2:

http://www.bucket-outlet.com/upan.htm
http://www.paprod.com/pans.html

Boomer
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 07, 2012, 04:03:52 PM
I thought L&B used black standard half sheet pans?

You can get the same 10x14 pans as at Bucket Outlet pre-seasoned here for about the same price: http://detroitstylepizza.co/?s=pans&searchsubmit=Search
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TheBoomer on November 07, 2012, 04:32:26 PM
I thought L&B used black standard half sheet pans?

You can get the same 10x14 pans as at Bucket Outlet pre-seasoned here for about the same price: http://detroitstylepizza.co/?s=pans&searchsubmit=Search

Craig:

Thanks for the link.  I did come across that website earlier.  The only go up to 10x14 size and I'm looking for larger.  Larger pan, more pizza :)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott r on November 07, 2012, 04:41:37 PM
cool source craig, I didn't know about this place.        

In my neck of the woods its all about a pizza style that is also pan cooked, and has that awesome charred cheese on the edge like a detroit style pizza.   Most of the pre seasoned pans sold around here have a coating sprayed on them by the manufacturer.  Its not like most teflon non stick coatings, and they call it "pre seasoned" not "non stick" which they also sell.     Its a semi permanent coating that sort of freaks me out.   Im not sure what it is, but its almost seems like a harder than typical neoprene coating.  Its not ceramic.   Whatever it is, I would obviously prefer a baked on coating of oil or shortening.  

Do you know how these pans are pre seasoned?  
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 07, 2012, 04:46:53 PM
cool source craig, I didn't know about this place.        

In my neck of the woods its all about a pizza style that is also pan cooked, and has that awesome charred cheese on the edge like a detroit style pizza.   Most of the pre seasoned pans sold around here have a coating sprayed on them by the manufacturer.  Its not like most teflon non stick coatings, and they call it "pre seasoned" not "non stick" which they also sell.     Its a semi permanent coating that sort of freaks me out.   Im not sure what it is, but its almost seems like a harder than typical neoprene coating.  Its not ceramic.   Whatever it is, I would obviously prefer a baked on coating of oil or shortening.  

Do you know how these pans are pre seasoned?  

I think it's baked on oil, but I don't know for sure. I have some inbound. I'll post after I hold them in my hands.

CL
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on November 07, 2012, 04:54:14 PM
Boomer,

I did post pictures of L&B Spumoni Gardens steel pans at 2nd picture down in Reply 246 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175826.html#msg175826 and at Reply 248 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17885.msg175827.html#msg175827  I am not sure, but they look like thicker steel pans to me.  I have one of those thicker steel pans.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott r on November 07, 2012, 08:47:59 PM
I think it's baked on oil, but I don't know for sure. I have some inbound. I'll post after I hold them in my hands.

CL

Ok, thanks so much craig!   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: widespreadpizza on November 07, 2012, 09:14:20 PM
cool source craig, I didn't know about this place.        

In my neck of the woods its all about a pizza style that is also pan cooked, and has that awesome charred cheese on the edge like a detroit style pizza.   Most of the pre seasoned pans sold around here have a coating sprayed on them by the manufacturer.  Its not like most teflon non stick coatings, and they call it "pre seasoned" not "non stick" which they also sell.     Its a semi permanent coating that sort of freaks me out.   Im not sure what it is, but its almost seems like a harder than typical neoprene coating.  Its not ceramic.   Whatever it is, I would obviously prefer a baked on coating of oil or shortening.  

Do you know how these pans are pre seasoned?  

Scott,  maybe I can teach you something for once  hahaha,  the burnt edges thing is most def SAUCE!  last time I was at town spa the locals told me and no doubt they were right!  Seriously,  just sauce to the edge right up onto the pan then bake.   The flavor of burnt sauce is silly!  -Marc
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chicago Bob on November 07, 2012, 09:28:17 PM
Seriously,  just sauce to the edge right up onto the pan then bake.   The flavor of burnt sauce is silly!  -Marc
Indeed. I showed this technique a while back on a Chi-town thin and stated how ya have to sorta man handle the edge to free it from the pan....but boy is it worth it, silly good crispies.  ;)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: scott r on November 08, 2012, 10:20:40 AM
Scott,  maybe I can teach you something for once  hahaha,  the burnt edges thing is most def SAUCE!  last time I was at town spa the locals told me and no doubt they were right!  Seriously,  just sauce to the edge right up onto the pan then bake.   The flavor of burnt sauce is silly!  -Marc

marc thanks for that!   I will def try saucing AND cheesing to the edge next time (which I haven't been doing).   

I miss our talks... your the man!!!!   I hope your store is kicking ass and your happy.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: johnnydoubleu on November 08, 2012, 12:24:09 PM
^Seriously illuminating!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 08, 2012, 12:33:34 PM
Scott,  maybe I can teach you something for once  hahaha,  the burnt edges thing is most def SAUCE!  last time I was at town spa the locals told me and no doubt they were right!  Seriously,  just sauce to the edge right up onto the pan then bake.   The flavor of burnt sauce is silly!  -Marc

That would make L&B's pies better, IMO. I didn't particularly care for the relatively large rim with no cheese or sauce.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TheBoomer on November 08, 2012, 12:45:33 PM
That would make L&B's pies better, IMO. I didn't particularly care for the relatively large rim with no cheese or sauce.

That's why when I go there I always ask for middle slices  ;D
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on November 09, 2012, 01:04:39 PM
I think it's baked on oil, but I don't know for sure. I have some inbound. I'll post after I hold them in my hands.

CL

Scott, they are blued steel with what appears to be a baked-on oil seasoning.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: joeventura on August 25, 2013, 08:37:38 PM
@sum1else: What do you think accounts for the diff in the crumb vs your other try? I mostly don't use a mixer for dough (make a lot of bread Tartine style and have such a small kitchen it is cumbersome to break out applicances) so I am likely to take a similar approach to you, but in consideration of what @dellavecchia is doing as well. Between the two of you things are getting pretty close. Pretty darn cool guys :)!

@all: I usually go to L&B 2-3 times a year in the summer (it is close to me but not that close). Is anyone close enough that they could take a peak in the dumpster there (for tomato cans etc.)?

I wonder if the twice baked thing is stemming from confusion about them putting the pie directly on the deck for a bit, which I have def seen them do.

I have been in the L&B dumpster TWICE, there is nothing in there except the Grande cheese boxes.
The dough and the sauce are made in the basement away from prying eyes.
They actually make the dough in the basement in a device that looks more like an old cement mixer.
I know 100% sure the sauce is NOT cooked.

Cento San Marzano tomatoes, Salt, Pepper, Dry Italian Oregano and Sugar will get you 98% of the way there.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: joeventura on August 25, 2013, 08:43:07 PM
My attempts using:

Flour (100%):    499.39 g  |  17.62 oz | 1.1 lbs
Water (69.4%):    346.58 g  |  12.23 oz | 0.76 lbs
IDY (1%):    4.99 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.66 tsp | 0.55 tbsp
Salt (2%):    9.99 g | 0.35 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.08 tsp | 0.69 tbsp
Oil (5.4%):    26.97 g | 0.95 oz | 0.06 lbs | 5.99 tsp | 2 tbsp
Total (177.8%):   887.92 g | 31.32 oz | 1.96 lbs | TF = 0.145

in an 11X17 pan

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Nyslice on September 24, 2013, 10:21:02 PM
My first attempt at an L & B style Pie. Stanislaus Cacciatore Sauce (Salt,Pepper, Sugar and Oregano) Grande Whole Milk Mozz, Pecorino Romano.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on September 24, 2013, 10:47:29 PM
Very nice Steve. Heck - that could easily pass for the real thing.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: joeventura on September 25, 2013, 10:21:39 AM
My first attempt at an L & B style Pie. Stanislaus Cacciatore Sauce (Salt,Pepper, Sugar and Oregano) Grande Whole Milk Mozz, Pecorino Romano.

Stanislaus Cacciatore Sauce??  L&B uses San Marazano so how does this compare??

I am confused!

What dough recipe did you use?

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Nyslice on September 26, 2013, 09:43:39 PM
My second attempt at this style of Pie. Gotta get up to L&B to try one, but I think I'm close. Does anyone have any recommendations for other establishments to check out while up there?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: joeventura on September 26, 2013, 09:46:29 PM
Looks great, new dough recipe?

Whats the crumb look like?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Nyslice on October 16, 2013, 12:29:02 AM
Heading north to L&B in a few days. Can't wait to see how close I am to nailing this thing down. The taste and texture of this pizza is amazing. Hydration was increased from 57% to 65%  40oz Dough Ball, Over night fermentation. Don't own a sheeter but used a rolling pin. Placed it in a proofing box in a 16"x16"x1" pan for approximately 20min. Baked for 14 minutes @ 500degrees in a Rotoflex.  I think the extra hydration works well for this pizza.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nickr on October 23, 2013, 05:09:46 PM
My second attempt at this style of Pie. Gotta get up to L&B to try one, but I think I'm close. Does anyone have any recommendations for other establishments to check out while up there?  Thanks.

Visually you are there. Their sauce is pretty acidic. More so than it is sweet. Also they use a good pungent grated cheese and a well greased pan. Perhaps they even add shortening to the dough which would account for a lot of the qualities it exhibits. I think you will like it. I lived in that place for a solid 20 years. Do not leave without getting the spumoni.

L&B is a stone's throw from the legendary Totonno's Pizzeria in Coney Island. My second home. I haven't been there in a few years and I miss it. They have an excellent dough that they top with a touch of fresh ingredients and then bake in a coal oven. After that there are probably too many places to mention. Enjoy the trip.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nickr on October 24, 2013, 11:22:54 AM
As for the pan I believe it is this one:

http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/matfer/310104/p368447.aspx (http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/matfer/310104/p368447.aspx)

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: joeventura on October 24, 2013, 11:29:11 AM
Now I just need a stove that beast would fit in
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nickr on October 24, 2013, 11:38:13 AM
True. They have the half sheet as well:

http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/matfer/310101/p368444.aspx (http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/matfer/310101/p368444.aspx)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: drummerchef on November 10, 2013, 11:21:24 AM
I was looking over this old thread and saw a couple of mentions to Grandma's pie. Here is the deal on that as I learned it at a pizzaria in Manahawkin NJ, from a guy who was from Brooklyn and decided to open a place in south Jersey.

The Grandma'a pie that he did was from the same dough as his normal pie and his sicilian. The dough was just rolled out thin and put in a heavily oiled half sheet pan (just like a sicilian). the edges were then trimmed to fit the pan, sauced, cheesed then baked, that's all. Oh yeah, and plenty of Pesto!

Now, all that being said his dough was a little different:

First, he used AT, his hydration was around 60% by my estimation.
He would put some of the water into the bowl first, add about 3% SEMOLINA, sugar,IDY and LARD. Then mix on slow for about 5 minutes then add the flour: 50#. Then the salt and mixed on 2 speed till windowpane. This dough was fantastic and in all 3 manifestations (pie, sicilian and Grandma's) was awesome. I didn't get the exact percentiges because the guy making the dough didn't measure anything.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: crvgt on January 21, 2014, 04:58:47 PM
Having lived the first 23 years of my life a few blocks from L&B, i've had more of their pizza than i can count.   Although i am not the type to painstakingly replicate a particular pie, i do try to make pizza in the general style of what i like, and L&B has always been the Sicilian that i emulate when making pizza at home.   Having enjoyed all the photos on this thread of all the wonderful pies, i thought i would share a few of my own.   

My dough is a small variation on Jim Lahey's no-knead dough.   Halfway through the 12-18 hour rise, i remove the dough from the container, and knead it a little.  I find this small step makes the dough more resiliant and resistant to tearing when I am spreading it into the pan.   And i use a lot of dough - about 50 ounces to the pan.   It produces a more airy/crusty texture than L&B's tight and moist crust, but i actually prefer the crusty version better.  For sauce, i use Pastene ground tomatoes, sometimes cooked with onions, or sometimes uncooked and pretty plain with only salt, olive oil and a little oregano.    I use fresh mozzarella nearly all the time, sometimes making it myself.   

While i am usually making Neapolitan or NY coal oven renditions at home, Sicilian pies in the L&B style is what i go back to when comfort food is what i need!

Ron
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: dmaclaren on February 07, 2014, 11:09:59 AM
My second attempt at this style of Pie. Gotta get up to L&B to try one, but I think I'm close. Does anyone have any recommendations for other establishments to check out while up there?  Thanks.

Is there an  update to this wil any detailed dough information?

Thanks
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on March 05, 2014, 09:24:51 PM
I was just at L&B  last night for the first time. Im looking for updates as well dm.  I'm going to give it a shot one of these days at TRYING to recreate it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on March 10, 2014, 07:32:29 PM
So from reading through this thread, is the general consensus that the TF should be in the area of .14-.16 and oil at about 3%?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on April 03, 2014, 10:13:54 AM
I would like to attempt a same day dough today.  How much IDY will I need for an 8 hr RT rise?

Nate
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on April 03, 2014, 07:41:49 PM
Never had L&B style so I have no idea what I have here but here you go.

AT bromated
65% hydration
3% oil
2.5% salt
1% sugar
.30% IDY

8hr RT rise, baked at 475 for 14 mins.  16x16x1 pan

Cheese:  Boars head Mozz and Locatelli pecorino
Sauce: Cento San Marzano

Can anyone tell me how the bottom is supposed to taste and look?  I brushed olive oil on pan but really am not sure.

Nate

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Bobino414 on April 03, 2014, 08:04:22 PM

Nate

You listed two different salt %, please clarify.

Bob
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on April 03, 2014, 08:25:31 PM
Never had LM style so I have no idea what I have here but here you go.
Can anyone tell me how the bottom is supposed to taste and look?  I brushed olive oil on pan but really am not sure.

Nate

Nate,

At Reply 249 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17885.msg175828#msg175828 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17885.msg175828#msg175828) is where I posted photos of L&B Spumoni Gardens pizza and how the bottom crust looked.  I would say the slice I had was a little gummy and not as airy as yours is.  Maybe other members will chime in on what they thought.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 03, 2014, 08:35:01 PM
Exactly right in your description Norma...I was there again Tuesday night :-) It's almost like it is undercooked but I think it's the mozzarella that they place on the dough first that melts into each slice. Probably my favorite square.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on April 03, 2014, 08:52:48 PM
Nate

You listed two different salt %, please clarify.

Bob

Fixed.  I thought the salt was too high for me though.  Next time I will do 1.75%.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on April 04, 2014, 08:00:03 PM
For my 2nd attempt I made some changes.

Dropped hydration from 65% to 63%.
Dropped salt from 2.5% to 1.75%.
Upped sugar from 1% to 1.5%.
Doubled the cheese
Used 7/11 tomatoes instead
Used more oil in pan and switched from olive to soybean.
Baked on stone positioned on 2nd rack. 
Preheated to 450 and cooked with convection for 5 mins then upped to 500 for another 11 mins with convection off.

I thought this time around the flavor and texture were much better.  If I want to make the bottom crunchier should I raise stone temp or bake longer?  I thought the end crust was really good so I don't want to effect that.

This was still only an 8hr RT rise, my next will be a 48hr CR.

Nate
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 04, 2014, 08:03:51 PM
Looks very good Nate! I was at L & B again on Tuesday. Its a great square.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on April 07, 2014, 08:11:27 PM
Sold one of these pies today to a friend tonight.  Have only made three Sicilians in my life and have much more to learn.

Nate
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 15, 2014, 08:24:28 PM
I was just at L&B  last night for the first time. Im looking for updates as well dm.  I'm going to give it a shot one of these days at TRYING to recreate it.

My experience with L&B style squares.  They are not made with traditional pizza dough, so the whole hydration % doesn't apply here.  Also, L&B squares are different from other NY sicilian slices.  The pillowy dough is a result of not using traditional pizza style dough recipes, but using more of a white bread dough which consists of milk powder/milk, butter and more sugar than a traditional pizza dough.  If you try an L&B square slice, it's crumb is not elastic and airy like an artisan bread, nor is it like neapolitan or NY thin crust.   It is like a compacted soft pillowy white bread which crisps at the bottom and sides due to high sugar/milk content.  I'm not talking soft white bread, think more like country style white bread dough.  I do know that L&B uses a roller machine and probably uses 4-5 1lb balls flattened and then layered on top of each other, then pressed to fill the pan. 

I will look to emulate their recipe and will post pictures and recipe.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 15, 2014, 08:31:07 PM
My experience with L&B style squares.  They are not made with traditional pizza dough, so the whole hydration % doesn't apply here.  Also, L&B squares are different from other NY sicilian slices.  The pillowy dough is a result of not using traditional pizza style dough recipes, but using more of a white bread dough which consists of milk powder/milk, butter and more sugar than a traditional pizza dough.  If you try an L&B square slice, it's crumb is not elastic like an artisan bread, nor is it like neapolitan or NY thin crust.   It is like a compacted soft pillowy white bread which crisps at the bottom and sides due to high sugar/milk content.

I will look to emulate their recipe and will post pictures and recipe.
I hear what you're saying about the texture. But this is the first time in hearing about milk, milk powder, sugar and/or butter. What kind of flour do you plan on using? I'm looking forward to seeing your results and workflow.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 15, 2014, 08:44:28 PM
I hear what you're saying about the texture. But this is the first time in hearing about milk, milk powder, sugar and/or butter. What kind of flour do you plan on using? I'm looking forward to seeing your results and workflow.

I plan on using AP King arthur, and another with bread flour.  Btw, i edited my post to further explain what I mean. 
Sauce, the tomato variety "San Marzano" doesn't mean much anymore as the variety has been so ruined lately and diluted by false product marketing and hybridization.   I found a source for organic San Marzano Redorta, which is a very large paste tomato, about 10-12 oz.  I prefer to use these as they are extremely sweet.  This is critical to the L&B square which has a very bright, fresh sweet taste.  Seeded, drained, cut and pureed with salt, pepper and oregano/basil.  I don't believe L&B cooks their tomatoes or if they do, maybe very quickly ie 10 minutes to retain the fresh tomato taste.


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 15, 2014, 08:50:47 PM
Cool, I'm looking forward to seeing the results. I'm not a San Marzano fan, so I used Sclafani crushed tomatoes which are very sweet as well.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 20, 2014, 10:14:18 PM
Cool, I'm looking forward to seeing the results. I'm not a San Marzano fan, so I used Sclafani crushed tomatoes which are very sweet as well.

Went to L&B last night and took some notes this time.  I've eaten their squares for years, and never really contemplated over it.

We ordered a half which is 12 squares.  The dough on the L&B square is definitely not traditional NY pizza dough, thin or Neapolitan.   
What we decided to do was compare it to other types of bakery products, one person said it was like white bread, another said it was like a thick cake or donut. 

First observation is that this pizza is sweet.  At first I thought it was just the tomatoes, but I sampled the crust alone and it is definitely much sweeter than traditional pizza dough. 
It is saltier than traditional pizza dough which complements the sweetness and is probably cold fermented for 24 hours to 2days to produce a good yeasty white bread flavor. 
It is NOT cake.  It is cake-like in some ways,  it is almost like inside a thick but soft donut in texture with a crispy bottom layer.

I ate 4 squares.  I don't ever eat more than 2 normal sicilian squares at which I am doughed out.   L&B dough is light in the mouth.  I don't have to chew on it like pizza or sicilian.  It goes down fast and don't have the same doughy aftereffects.
I am convinced there is milk/dry milk powder in the product and some type of shortening/butter.

I decided to begin with the following:


1 cup water
2 tbsp dry milk powder
3 cups AP flour
1 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp active yeast
max temp on pizza stone 12 minutes.

Dough was cold fermented for 24 hours pressed down into greased pan.

The recipe I used is a good start and much better my past efforts when I've used traditional pizza dough recipe.  There is definitely milk/milk powder in their recipe imo.

Some problems:
One thing I noticed after I baked is it isn't sweet enough.  L&B is NOT sweet like a pastry, but is sweeter than typical pizza dough.   2tbsp I used seems alot, but this dough was nowhere as sweet as L&B. 
I will try 4tbsp (sounds like alot).  Also needs more salt so that goes up to 2tbsp.  It also needs more salt.

The texture is in the ballpark but it's not soft enough.  The outer crust should not come out as rigid as it did.   I will bump up the hydration and use milk as the base liquid.  1 cup milk and 1/4 cup water instead of water + milk powder I previously used. 

Sorry no pictures, I will post some in a final product I am happy with.  Work in progress.




Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 20, 2014, 10:24:25 PM
I agree with your observations, especially with the noted sweetness of the dough. Now that I think about it, I'm due for a trip to L & B! :-)
What size pan did you use and what was the temp & bake time? Did you roll out the dough to simulate the sheeter they use at L&B?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 20, 2014, 10:28:32 PM
I agree with your observations, especially with the noted sweetness of the dough. Now that I think about it, I'm due for a trip to L & B! :-)
What size pan did you use and what was the temp & bake time? Did you roll out the dough to simulate the sheeter they use at L&B?

I used a regular 18" x 26" steel sheet pan which approximates half pan at l&b.  i set the temp at oven max on a pizza stone at bottom level of oven.  I will elaborate on this more later re: sauce and cheese, but the key is to not really overcook/burn the tomatoes and romano on top.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Chaze215 on April 20, 2014, 10:42:51 PM
Got it. I'm looking forward to your workflow and details. Keep up the good work! BTW, are you in the NY/NJ area?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on April 20, 2014, 10:53:59 PM
Arctic Pizza,

On the matter of the effects of salt and sugar on each other, you might find this post of interest:

Reply 777 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg161018#msg161018 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg161018#msg161018)

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 20, 2014, 10:58:43 PM
Got it. I'm looking forward to your workflow and details. Keep up the good work! BTW, are you in the NY/NJ area?

I'm in Manhattan.  This is my mission for the next few months! 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 20, 2014, 11:06:07 PM
Arctic Pizza,

On the matter of the effects of salt and sugar on each other, you might find this post of interest:

Reply 777 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg161018#msg161018 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg161018#msg161018)

Peter

Thanks!  Interesting topic on the interaction of sugar/salt.  Combinations of flavors are important.   Also, there's another thing called umami, which is considered the "5th taste", like that sense of what you crave or think about independent of taste buds taken independently. 


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nickr on April 23, 2014, 11:01:26 AM
I'm convinced that the dough has lard in it. As for milk, I'm not so sure. The crumb is very soft, and very tender. Is is possible that they use some potato flour?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 29, 2014, 09:34:01 PM
I'm convinced that the dough has lard in it. As for milk, I'm not so sure. The crumb is very soft, and very tender. Is is possible that they use some potato flour?

There's no way to get the crumb with any traditional flour/water/yeast/salt ratio.  It must contain dairy and other ingredients.  The pictures on this thread look nice, but L&B not a neapolitan style crumb.  It's like a crispy yet cakey/donut/white bread.

Last recipe i tried was getting there,  but experimented with few changes.


2 tsp active dry yeast


switched from dry milk to real milk
3/4 lukewarm
1/4 cup warm water

upped the sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

added an egg this time.
1 egg

1 tbsp salt

added 1/4 cup shortening

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

24 hour cold rise. 

This is real close.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on April 29, 2014, 09:48:57 PM
the addictiveness is from the relatively sweeter dough and very sweet tomatoes, and very sharp romano, a naturally high level of glutamate.

i've been using redorta and san marzano.  you don't want to cook down the tomatoes much, but need to puree them with a hand mill and add salt, pepper, oregano.  do NOT put in garlic or onions, it will ruin the sweet/salt profile.  I cook down the tomatoes for 30 minutes with a little olive oil, no tomato water.  must be drained.  The key is to not cook the tomatoes too long and let it's natural sweetness come through.  i taste the tomatoes, if it's sour, add some corn syrup.  tomatoes will be more acidic the less you drain them of it's tomato water.  try to remove as much as possible.

i am using deli sliced low moisture mozz cut 1/4".  you want alot of good fresh grated pecorino romano.  this is where the saltiness and glutamate (umami) really cuts through the sweetness.

I bake it on a stone.  Do not broil it ever.  the romano should never turn brown.  crust should crisp, and the top should be steaming hot but not burnt. 


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nickr on April 30, 2014, 01:16:25 PM
What thickness factor are you using?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: 9slicePie on July 29, 2014, 10:28:33 AM
I've seen youtube videos of L&B, and I'm also sooo curious how they maker their sauce.  I heard that there are 2 tomato products that go into it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: ron.ck722 on September 02, 2014, 02:29:01 AM
A retired Electronics Engineer, raised on Niagara Falls' defunct Trusello's Pizza, I got a kick from the "Reverse Engineering Spumoni Gardens" thread. My wife heard about the Spumoni Garden on TV the day before I decided to investigate them on this forum.

Quite familiar with reverse engineering electronic and mechanical systems, I hadn't heard the term applied to pizza. If it's done with wine and perfume, why not pizza?

Pictures can't describe taste or texture, but the Garden's Sicilian pizza looked very similar to Trusello's. I tried duplicating Nate's April 3rd Reply 166 recipe and immediately ran into a roadblock. Having never baked anything other than pre-fabbed Pillsbury Doughboy sugar-topped cinammon rolls when the kids were young, I couldn't understand any of the baking terminology or whether the ingredients were by volume or weight (my wife, an excellent cook, bakes only occasionally. Her mother baked bread almost daily. We were 16 and I was too blinded by love to realize my mother-in-law hadn't passed along her baking expertise).

Back to pizza - when I used volume, I came up with ~ 2.6 cups of hydration added to 4 cups of flour. Didn't make sense, so I tried weight (or density), which gave me ~ 0.73 cups of hydration added to 4 cups of flour. Much more plausible.

Since my usual sauce must be seed-free and Albertsons had no San Marzano tomatos, I discovered, bought and tasted some strained Pomi uncooked, and it was fine to my second generation Italian-American taste buds. I understand the Pomi reviews are mixed. My wife insisted on a quick, 10 minute sauce sizzle in olive oil, the method used by our late dear friend from Naples. I'll try pomi uncooked the next time.

I also never realized until I'd watched the "Man versus Food" YouTube episode at the Spumoni Garden that there was an almost invisible layer of Mozzerelo cheese under the sauce to keep it from sogging up the bread.

The finished pizza was suprisingly good - a little thinner than desired, partially because I'd only allowed a 2 hour rise and partially because I hadn't made enough dough. But was good enough to quell any thoughts of buying frozen dough or finished pizzas for a while.

I'm hooked and can't wait to refine my technique. Later I'll add some Boar's Head or Grandpa's Cheese Barn Pepperoni. That's another 15 year search, recently culminated - a suitable replacement for the Patrick Cudahy Margherita pepperoni (sticks only - no slices, please) of my youth.

I've also never heard of Sicilian Eggplant Caponata on a pizza. I'll look for a thread.

Many thanks to Nate, Norma, Chaze215, Bobino414 and the other Spumoni Gardens thread contributors.

Regards,

Ron
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: rfrf on February 12, 2015, 09:14:48 AM
I have been trying to following the dough and pizza recipe from the first post a few times and i'm needing some tips on where i'm going wrong.. the few times I have tried this the bottom of the crust comes out almost like focaccia, and far too crusted. The crust in places actually has a hard time "staying" with the pizza when removing it from the pan. Looking at other pictures in this thread it's like the bottom is too thick compared to the rest of the pizza.
 
I'm thinking my pan is one of the reasons (using an aluminum sheet pan), but based on what I've described where else could I be going wrong?  Am i right in thinking the hydration of the mix could be a factor in what i've described? I've attached a picture below. The dough after cooling is very soggy..
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jsaras on February 12, 2015, 10:34:48 AM
Is the outer part of your pan shiny or seasoned?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: rfrf on February 12, 2015, 10:37:33 AM
Is the outer part of your pan shiny or seasoned?
It's shiny, I have not done anything to season it. It was all I could find when I looked briefly locally. Is there anything I can do with such a pan or should I invest in something else?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jsaras on February 12, 2015, 11:01:13 AM
Shiny pans reflect heat, dark/seasoned ones absorb heat.  This should get you going: http://ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-season-pizza-pan.html?m=1
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: rfrf on February 12, 2015, 11:19:10 AM
Shiny pans reflect heat, dark/seasoned ones absorb heat.  This should get you going: http://ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-season-pizza-pan.html?m=1
Thanks.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on March 09, 2015, 12:25:46 PM
There's no way to get the crumb with any traditional flour/water/yeast/salt ratio.  It must contain dairy and other ingredients.  The pictures on this thread look nice, but L&B not a neapolitan style crumb.  It's like a crispy yet cakey/donut/white bread.

Last recipe i tried was getting there,  but experimented with few changes.


2 tsp active dry yeast


switched from dry milk to real milk
3/4 lukewarm
1/4 cup warm water

upped the sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

added an egg this time.
1 egg

1 tbsp salt

added 1/4 cup shortening

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

24 hour cold rise. 

This is real close.


  this is very close to my current recipe that i am using to duplicate L&B. i have never been there but it is on my next pizza crawl. the last attempt was definitely light and soft with a crisp bottom. i used a egg and olive oil for richness. the sauce was san marzanos with anchovies olive oil and oregano cooked down a little then buzzed with a stick blender. the sauce seemed too mild so after hitting it with grated cheese and evoo i added more oregano. i also fork docked the dough then pre baked with the cheese. that made it a little thicker than if i would of baked it raw to the finish. i wanted to try the anchovy addition as i have seen two current sicilian recipes that used them in their sauce.next time i will go with raw 7/11 finished with grated cheese evoo and oregano.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 09, 2015, 02:39:28 PM
Larry,

When you visit L&B make sure you walk around back to the bathrooms. You get a good glance into the kitchen and can actually walk up and see the dough proofing in the trays on racks.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on March 09, 2015, 04:02:36 PM
Ali, wants me to invite you and derrick on our next pizza crawl. if we can work out everybody's work schedules, I would love for you to come along. Ali is coming home this week and said no plans other than pizza making will be acceptable. I want to go to L&B, totannos, franny's, and lucalli's, and any other recommended places. This would be over two days.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 28, 2015, 01:31:19 PM
Here's a video featuring L&B I haven't seen in this thread yet. Starts somewhere in the middle. Lou said 650 degrees for the oven....wouldn't have guessed that (if accurate.)

http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-make-classic-pizza-241278573
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: pythonic on August 08, 2015, 04:02:05 AM
Here's a batch I made.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Rock808 on December 01, 2015, 04:03:15 PM
^^^^ looks good, sauce looks beautiful what did you use?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: woodmakesitgood on December 20, 2015, 11:16:47 PM
I've been interested for a while in the Spumoni Garden's style pie just from reading this thread.
Never having been there myself, its hard to know exactly what to look for.

Anyway, I tried a version today with a same day dough, it came out pretty tasty.
It probably was lacking the milky, pillowy texture of the original, but there was some light puffiness to the crust. The dough was 60/40 Central Milling/Power, mixed in the FP...proofed twice.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on February 10, 2016, 12:30:19 AM
My experience with L&B style squares.  They are not made with traditional pizza dough, so the whole hydration % doesn't apply here.  Also, L&B squares are different from other NY sicilian slices.  The pillowy dough is a result of not using traditional pizza style dough recipes, but using more of a white bread dough which consists of milk powder/milk, butter and more sugar than a traditional pizza dough.  If you try an L&B square slice, it's crumb is not elastic and airy like an artisan bread, nor is it like neapolitan or NY thin crust.   It is like a compacted soft pillowy white bread which crisps at the bottom and sides due to high sugar/milk content.  I'm not talking soft white bread, think more like country style white bread dough.  I do know that L&B uses a roller machine and probably uses 4-5 1lb balls flattened and then layered on top of each other, then pressed to fill the pan. 

I will look to emulate their recipe and will post pictures and recipe.

Finally revisiting this thread and just saw this for the first time.  Your description of the crumb and texture is exactly as I remembered it the one time I visited.  Very soft, tender, airy, pillowy.  It's very interesting that you mentioned their possible use of dry milk powder or milk and butter.  In my previous attempt I worked off of recipes that produced a similar crumb to the L&B crumb, namely the Pizza Hut clone recipe.  I'm pretty sure members thought I was crazy, but perhaps I'm not.  Lol.  Anyways thanks for the insight.  Tonight I made a Deep dish pie that was very reminiscent of the L&B square texture.  It was very light, airy, pillowy with a tight crumb structure.  HG flour, 60% HR, 3% shortening, 0.3% baking soda, 2% LDM (diastatic malt).  This was a 5 hour dough.   I have a suspicion that the LDM works very similarly to the dry milk or both have similar effects in the dough.  My hydration was a bit low so I will play around with increasing it. 

In one of your later post Artic Pizza you mentioned how sweet their crust was.  I will say that when I worked on cloning Texas Road house sweet rolls, it required a lot of sugar to get the finished rolls to have a sweet taste.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% sugar.  I'm sure L&B doesn't use that much but perhaps it is higher than typically amounts found in pizza dough.  My only concern about using high amounts of sugar is that it could lead to premature browning of the crust, this inhibiting it to be as crispy as a longer bake would produce.  Any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jimbro on February 20, 2016, 08:09:33 AM
These pies look great. Live in the neighborhood of Spumoni but grew up on 18 ave. I figured the crusts started here would be my begining, but desire what I consider the best "square" slice. DaVinci pizzeria was only 2 blocks from my house growing up and their competition was J&V down the avenue. Really DaVinci was hands down the sicilian and J&V the "round"(so called neopolitian)
Are there any posts or comments on there version? Is anyone familiar with these pizzerias I mentioned.

James
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 23, 2016, 11:45:31 PM
So I had a few slices at L&B today and noticed a few things. First and foremost, the bottom of the crust is always dry (not oily or fried.) Also, the bottom crust on my slice remained crispy even when cold....almost an hour before I had my final slice and it was still crisp.

I wonder what it is that helps L&B maintain a crust like this...the pie is never popped out of the pan or onto the deck...maybe it's a longer bake and lack of oil?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HBolte on March 24, 2016, 07:06:59 AM
That's interesting. I really only use oil to make spreading out the dough easier. Maybe they use higher hydration which would allow the tough to be spread without lube?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 24, 2016, 08:45:44 AM
That's interesting. I really only use oil to make spreading out the dough easier. Maybe they use higher hydration which would allow the tough to be spread without lube?

Oil makes it harder to spread the dough in the pan.  Crisco or butter makes it easier since it helps hold the dough from spring back.  But perhaps a few of us should try without the grease or a lot less of it.  Either way I would love to know how to make a crispy bottom that stays crispy.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 26, 2016, 01:17:24 AM
I'm almost certain L&B doesn't use much oil in the pan. The bottom crust of all my slices were completely dry, not greasy, and stayed crisp. Not oily, fried crispy but crispy in the way an artisan bread might develop a crust that holds its crispness. Our slices stayed crisp in the box on a 40 minute drive home, and they weren't devoured until maybe an hour and 10 minutes later...

I think they bake for around 15 minutes. Even more astonishing they don't let these pies cool on baking racks, and they don't rush to get them out of the pan. I've seen them put a hot pan of a freshly baked pizza right in the window and pull slices out of it for customers.

I've tried pressing dough into my Lloyd pans with no fat and had successful results. Dough didn't spring back, no real trouble stretching. It would be interesting to try a pie with fat in the pan vs a pie without fat in the pan and see which holds its crust better...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 26, 2016, 06:09:15 AM
Lou, very interesting findings and thanks for posting about them.  Did you notice that the crumb was still tender after sitting in the box for over almost 2 hours?  I know the crumb is exceedingly light and tender when the squares are eaten fresh.

So are you telling us there is virtually no oil on the bottom crust?  If you let a slice sit on a napkin there is no oil that leeches into the paper?   Next time can you or someone who visits post up a shot of the bottom crust? 

As for stretching dough into a pan without fat, I'm pretty sure it would hold just fine.  Similar to using crisco and easier than using oil.  When you did this Lou, did you notice the bottom crust being crunchier or crispier compared to the crisco bottoms? 

Anyone know what type of pan they use?  That would have an effect on crispiness I would think.   

On bake times - Also I'm fairly certain L&B par bakes their squares.  Can someone verify? This would certainly affect crust crispiness.  I remember seeing them put sheets into the lower ovens but not sure what temps they are par baking at.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on March 26, 2016, 09:20:15 AM
I don't know if this article was posted before.

http://animalnewyork.com/2012/lb-spumoni-gardens-notoriously-delicious-square-slice-deconstructed/ 

L&B’s pans – big squares of steel turned black by decades of olive oil cooked into the pans (that’s where the “carmelized” color on the pizza’s bottom comes from). Flavor has literally been baked into the pan.

This is what Scott Wiener had to say:

In his professional opinion: “[L&B is] definitely a Sicilian (which must be cooked in a square or rectangular pan) and are sometimes baked twice,” though the L&B is only baked once. Why? Output. There are twelve ovens in L&B, theorizes Wiener, and each have an extra rack in the middle for a total of 4-6 pies cooked per oven. That’s 48-72 pies at once–and if you’ve ever had to powder your nose at L&B, you’ve followed the signs into the back of the kitchen and walked right past the wheeled racks that hold dozens of cooling pies and pans full of dough. If it takes ten minutes for each prepared pie to cook, that’s hundreds of pies per hour. Wiener tried The Square a couple months ago, though he caveats his description with an admission that it was the VERY last warm slice before they shut their doors: it wasn’t that amazing, going lighter on the sauce and less bunchy in the middle. (Bunchy? Yeah–the bunches of bread form networks that allow air to stretch the dough up while retaining chewyness).

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 26, 2016, 10:13:22 AM
"But a lot of them – especially the newer pizzerias – can’t hope to imitate L&B’s slice, Durazzo says. Not without L&B’s pans – big squares of steel turned black by decades of olive oil cooked into the pans (that’s where the “carmelized” color on the pizza’s bottom comes from). Flavor has literally been baked into the pan."

I'm calling BS on this. There is no flavor in plasticized oil.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on March 26, 2016, 10:29:53 AM
"But a lot of them – especially the newer pizzerias – can’t hope to imitate L&B’s slice, Durazzo says. Not without L&B’s pans – big squares of steel turned black by decades of olive oil cooked into the pans (that’s where the “carmelized” color on the pizza’s bottom comes from). Flavor has literally been baked into the pan."

I'm calling BS on this. There is no flavor in plasticized oil.

Oh, come now, Craig.  Everything's got flavor!   :-D  did you know there's plasticine beers? 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 26, 2016, 01:03:31 PM
I've beent to L&B two times in the past three weeks doing intensive square research...I'll do a full writeup with pics next time I go. I can also confirm it is not parbaked.

The crumb on my slices was still pretty tender.

There is literally no oil on the bottom of the crust. I can eat that slice without a napkin. My fingers are dry after touching the bottom crust. It's not similar at all, to say, the fried oily slice at Prince Street (though excellent in its own way.) So if they do use oil, it's not much at all. I'll let a slice sit on a napkin next time so you can see how much oil is on the bottom crust.

I've never had pizzarium or Bonci's pizza, but I'd imagine the bottom is similar to that. He uses no oil in his pan and the bottom comes out well browned and crisp from what I've been told.

Lou, very interesting findings and thanks for posting about them.  Did you notice that the crumb was still tender after sitting in the box for over almost 2 hours?  I know the crumb is exceedingly light and tender when the squares are eaten fresh.

So are you telling us there is virtually no oil on the bottom crust?  If you let a slice sit on a napkin there is no oil that leeches into the paper?   Next time can you or someone who visits post up a shot of the bottom crust? 

As for stretching dough into a pan without fat, I'm pretty sure it would hold just fine.  Similar to using crisco and easier than using oil.  When you did this Lou, did you notice the bottom crust being crunchier or crispier compared to the crisco bottoms? 

Anyone know what type of pan they use?  That would have an effect on crispiness I would think.   

On bake times - Also I'm fairly certain L&B par bakes their squares.  Can someone verify? This would certainly affect crust crispiness.  I remember seeing them put sheets into the lower ovens but not sure what temps they are par baking at.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on March 26, 2016, 02:32:24 PM
if they are not using a fat then they must be using a dough sheeter, and the dough sheeted to almost full size. you cannot stretch dough on a dry pan.also they are probablt baking at lower temperatures so you will not get that fried texture.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on March 26, 2016, 02:43:53 PM
if they are not using a fat then they must be using a dough sheeter, and the dough sheeted to almost full size. you cannot stretch dough on a dry pan.also they are probablt baking at lower temperatures so you will not get that fried texture.

Larry,

I don't think L&B is doing this, but there is a way to stretch out a Sicilian dough by just oiling the bench where the dough is pressed out.  The Sicilian dough then opens easily.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 26, 2016, 02:51:22 PM
"But a lot of them – especially the newer pizzerias – can’t hope to imitate L&B’s slice, Durazzo says. Not without L&B’s pans – big squares of steel turned black by decades of olive oil cooked into the pans (that’s where the “carmelized” color on the pizza’s bottom comes from). Flavor has literally been baked into the pan."

I'm calling BS on this. There is no flavor in plasticized oil.

Remember Craig.  Everybody is a pizza expert these days.   :-D
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on March 26, 2016, 03:13:29 PM
. Thanks Norma. I'm sure that is a method of stretching ,but oil is still used to allow the dough to slide.
  My last visit to LnB with dumpster action
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 26, 2016, 04:36:17 PM
I don't get the fuss over L&B. It's good, but I'm not sure it would even make the second tier of my pizzeria list. I don't see anything special about it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on March 26, 2016, 07:51:43 PM
I didn't see the Saporito name but this might be what L&B is using:

http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HBolte on March 26, 2016, 08:59:45 PM
I don't get the fuss over L&B. It's good, but I'm not sure it would even make the second tier of my pizzeria list. I don't see anything special about it.

Just from the look their pizza it's not on my NYC "want to try" list. It just looks too bready for me.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 27, 2016, 12:16:12 AM
Just from the look their pizza it's not on my NYC "want to try" list. It just looks too bready for me.

You'd be missing out Hans.  It's not bready at all despite it looking heavy or dense.  It's actually pretty light and tender.  Out of a dozen tries, I've only made one as light as theirs.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 27, 2016, 01:53:56 AM
I'd agree. 9 out of 10 times it was excellent. Something about it has me eating 3 to 4 slices each time I go. I couldn't do that if it was bready. They do use a sheeter (see videos) and if they are using fat it's not much. All of my recent slices have been practically dry on the bottom.

Larry, based on those pictures I can pinpoint their pizza ingredient supplier.

My gut tells me they use just enough olive oil to "grease" the pan. There's not alot of it and it doesn't pool like other places. I also think it's a very low hydration dough, but what makes it unique is the dough probably proofs (with all toppings) for 2 to 3 hours next to those hot pizza ovens. It's super unique, because even though the dough they use is nothing special and most pizzerias probably use something similar, the fact they allow it to rise makes a significant difference. I've noticed this difference even in my high hydration pan pizzas.

You'd be missing out Hans.  It's not bready at all despite it looking heavy or dense.  It's actually pretty light and tender.  Out of a dozen tries, I've only made one as light as theirs.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 27, 2016, 01:55:25 AM
Would love to hear your opinion if you do try it when you're in the area. The way I look at it...there's nothing special or unique about any of the ingredients or the dough...but they way it all comes together is really unlike any other square I've ever had.

Just from the look their pizza it's not on my NYC "want to try" list. It just looks too bready for me.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on March 27, 2016, 08:24:29 AM
I didn't see the Saporito name but this might be what L&B is using:

http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf

Peter

Peter,

I believe you are right.  A photo of of a box of my Saporito.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HBolte on March 27, 2016, 08:30:34 AM
You'd be missing out Hans. 


Well I guess it's back on the list!!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 27, 2016, 08:31:28 AM
I've beent to L&B two times in the past three weeks doing intensive square research...I'll do a full writeup with pics next time I go. I can also confirm it is not parbaked.

Lou the one time I visited I saw workers putting pizza into the lower ovens.  At the time I had assumed they were being par baked and place into the top ovens to finish baking but my memory fails me now.  Is that what's going on or are they baking pizzas one time in those lower ovens just like the top ovens.   I also remember seeing into one of the top ovens, it had two decks.  Like a single deck split into two levels, an upper and a lower.   Pizzas were rotated between the lower and upper level of this single oven.  The reason I'm asking about the partaking is Bc it could have huge implications on bottom crunchiness.  At that particular pizza crawl, I talked to several pizza forum members local to the area and their pizza and all said they do partake.   Anyone else that can weigh in on this?

As far as whether or not L&B uses a sheeter, John D.  Posted this pic on page 2.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 27, 2016, 08:38:19 AM
At the time I had assumed they were being par baked and place into the top ovens to finish baking but my memory fails me now. 

I was there at the same time as Chau, and I was thinking they were par-baked as well. I thought I remember seeing a rack loaded from top to bottom with sheet pans of par-baked pies with only melted cheese on top and no sauce. I think there may even be a picture of it here someplace. I looked through the pictures we posted from that trip and didn't see anything definitive, so it's entirely possible that I am imagining things.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 27, 2016, 08:45:50 AM
Yes Craig, there was a rack full of pies ready to be baked next to the ovens.  My assumption was that those had not been baked yet but simply prepared in advance for the lunch rush hour.  I saw pies loaded into the bottom ovens but I'm not sure I remember those ones rotated to the top ovens later. 

I would think that they either par bake or they do not as oppose to only par baking sometimes.  These guys do a lot of volume so it would make sense that they have a process and routine that they don't deviate from. 

Also looking at images of their pizza it appears that they bake the bottoms out quite dark.  I even saw a few pics with the top crust burnt.  Assuming these are from L&B that would also translate into a lengthy bake time, which would be a part of getting the bottom so crunchy.

Lou if you can also time a bake next time that would be helpful.

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 27, 2016, 08:59:15 AM
That's probably what I saw.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 27, 2016, 09:08:50 AM
That's probably what I saw.

Craig we need to do another NY pizza crawl.  I can't wait to revisit Pizzatown and a few other places.  At the time of us eating the L&B square, I remember you saying that IYO, it was not pizza and just sauce on bread while I liked it quite a bit.   :-D That was when you were only making NP with SD though.  Anyways, it was a fun and memorable experience!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 27, 2016, 09:34:38 AM
Craig we need to do another NY pizza crawl.  I can't wait to revisit Pizzatown and a few other places.  At the time of us eating the L&B square, I remember you saying that IYO, it was not pizza and just sauce on bread while I liked it quite a bit.   :-D That was when you were only making NP with SD though.  Anyways, it was a fun and memorable experience!

I agree. I'm sure I would have a new appreciation for the different styles - though I don't believe my opinion of Lombardi's would change  :-X

What I saw definitely was dough proofing with cheese on top. You can see it clearly in this video. From the video, it looks/sounds like the proof it in the pan then deflate it partially when they put the cheese slices on, pressing them with some force into the dough, then proof again with the sauce on top. Is the sauce added just before baking or is the dough proofed with the sauce on top? I distinctly remember seeing a full rack of dough in pans (that I now realize was not par-baked as I had originally thought) and it did not have sauce.

I didn't realize just how little mozz they are using. It's maybe 50% coverage.

http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/slice-of-brooklyn/video/grimaldi-s-vs-spumoni-gardens
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 27, 2016, 12:40:09 PM
Definitely not parbaked. Definitely well proofed often with sauce and cheese on it. I think you can also see from those pictures the dough is a fairly low hydration. Looks more like play-dough than any kind of wet dough. They swap the pies between top and bottom rack and rotate them frequently.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 27, 2016, 01:15:52 PM
Definitely not parbaked. Definitely well proofed often with sauce and cheese on it. I think you can also see from those pictures the dough is a fairly low hydration. Looks more like play-dough than any kind of wet dough. They swap the pies between top and bottom rack and rotate them frequently.

I was thinking along the same lines about the dough being a fairly low hydration.  That coupled with a long bake can get you crunchy.  Oil is at least 3% or more.  Lou why do you suppose they rotate pies between the lower Ovens?  Are some ovens hotter than others? 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 28, 2016, 01:04:41 AM
I had thought a good amount of sugar and oil may have been present in the dough given the crust coloration. I haven't observed pies switching ovens but I have seen pies switched between top and bottom halves of the same baking chamber.

My theory is this gives them a more complete, slower bake, without burning either the top or the bottom. For example, they can begin a pie on the hotter lower half and finish on the top half without overcooking the top or the bottom. Though I don't suspect the dough is anything special, the long proofs help make it special, along with a minimal amount of fat in the pan and a longer bake. In theory, this would equal 1) "Airy" rather than dense (I've found this almost always has to do with proofing time and NOT the hydration of the dough) 2) Crispy 3) the Caramel crust color they seem to achieve

I was thinking along the same lines about the dough being a fairly low hydration.  That coupled with a long bake can get you crunchy.  Oil is at least 3% or more.  Lou why do you suppose they rotate pies between the lower Ovens?  Are some ovens hotter than others?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 28, 2016, 06:48:17 AM
My theory is this gives them a more complete, slower bake, without burning either the top or the bottom. For example, they can begin a pie on the hotter lower half and finish on the top half without overcooking the top or the bottom. Though I don't suspect the dough is anything special, the long proofs help make it special, along with a minimal amount of fat in the pan and a longer bake. In theory, this would equal 1) "Airy" rather than dense (I've found this almost always has to do with proofing time and NOT the hydration of the dough) 2) Crispy 3) the Caramel crust color they seem to achieve

YES!  Duh...why didn't I think of that!  Not only does it prevent the bottoms from burning but it also affords them the longer bakes to dry out the crust even more. The initial bake at the bottom rack is at higher temps adding lift and browning. The top bake allows the pie a longer time in the oven and more moisture to escape.  How long they bake is the next piece of the puzzle.  It could be in excess of 15m.  This sounds crazy but it may also be why they put the cheese below the sauce.  If their bake time is that long, cheese above the sauce would likely brown too much and dry out.

I agree.  The airiness is from the lengthy proof, but the lightness is from their mixing (and Handling protocol) and oil in the dough.

About using minimal oil in the pan.  To me it's just a cost saving move like only cheesing essentially half of the pie.  I don't see the amount of oil causing a difference in the level of crunchiness.  What I plan to do on my next pan bake is only lightly butter half of the pan. The other half I'll probably leave dry to see the difference.

I also like the idea of proofing with only the cheese on the dough.  Allowing the rim to rise higher will create a well for the sauce without it running over the edges, since a typical rise can cause the center of the pie to be higher than the edges.     

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on March 28, 2016, 12:10:47 PM
I think less oil in the pan helps distinguish the bottom crust from a place like Prince Street, which requires a fistful of napkins when eating. You don't pick it up and think "This pie was cooked in a lot of oil."

Proofing with cheese/sauce also helps eliminate large stray bubbles that might occur. It gives the pie a sort of even-ness across the entire top

YES!  Duh...why didn't I think of that!  Not only does it prevent the bottoms from burning but it also affords them the longer bakes to dry out the crust even more. The initial bake at the bottom rack is at higher temps adding lift and browning. The top bake allows the pie a longer time in the oven and more moisture to escape.  How long they bake is the next piece of the puzzle.  It could be in excess of 15m.  This sounds crazy but it may also be why they put the cheese below the sauce.  If their bake time is that long, cheese above the sauce would likely brown too much and dry out.

I agree.  The airiness is from the lengthy proof, but the lightness is from their mixing (and Handling protocol) and oil in the dough.

About using minimal oil in the pan.  To me it's just a cost saving move like only cheesing essentially half of the pie.  I don't see the amount of oil causing a difference in the level of crunchiness.  What I plan to do on my next pan bake is only lightly butter half of the pan. The other half I'll probably leave dry to see the difference.

I also like the idea of proofing with only the cheese on the dough.  Allowing the rim to rise higher will create a well for the sauce without it running over the edges, since a typical rise can cause the center of the pie to be higher than the edges.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 05, 2016, 08:00:25 PM
I've been to L&B's quite a lot since I last posted here and some observations:

L&B squares are made in old carbon steel pans.  Each pan can produce 2 pies.  They are big.
The pans are seasoned, meaning they've been used for decades, never washed with water, just wiped.. they have the look of years of burnt in fats.  Similarly, if you've ever cooked with a cast iron skillet you never clean them with water.  they act like "nonstick" because of years of use.  L&B's uses custom ovens, Each oven is "bi-level", there is another stone in the middle..  and so it takes 2 levels of pans.  Therefore, oven has low headroom on each level which allows the tops to cook fast enough before the bottoms burn.

I was commenting about this on another discussion.  L&B squares are not "fried" in the pan as are Di Fara or Artichoke square pies where they pour lots of oil in the second bake. 
L&B's does not parbake.  It's baked only once with sauce and cheese from the get go.  They use a dough sheeter, and layer 5-6 sheets on itself and pressed down to fill the pan.  The dough has either milk or milk powder, possibly whey but there is certainly dairy in the mix.  Also, there is a high fat % in the dough, whether it's plain oil, or Crisco/butter and finally sugars.  This and the old steel pans is how the bottoms get their unique crisp without adding too much additional oil in pan.  The bottom of L&B squares are not greasy to the touch.

Cheese, they use a layer of low moisture mozzarella, then topped with a layer of sauce.  The sauce is VERY sweet, like candy, canned tomatoes aren't naturally this sweet, so I assume a sweetener is added, Sauce is then topped with a very generous layer of pecorino romano.  Then, drizzled back and forth with a good amount of olive oil and into the oven.

Texture is soft, light and airy center.  This, and the sweet sauce, salty pecorino, crispy bottom is what makes it delicious.  They may look very bready and heavy, but they are light.  Less bloat after eating these than normal slices.

Also Jackie, the square isn't sweet like sweet rolls, but you know the subtle sweetness level in white bread. 




Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 05, 2016, 08:13:25 PM
Thank you for the added info Artic Pizza.  I only mentioned Texas sweet rolls to say the texture is similar but yes definitely not that sweet.  It's much much less.  When I worked on making a sweet roll, I was using 20% sugar in the dough formulation and it still wasn't as sweet as Texas Roadhouse rolls and L&B is no where near as sweet as my rolls.  How much sugar do you think they are using?  Would you say oil is higher than 4%?  Possible 6% or more?  And hydration?  I'm thinking it's not a wet dough or a high hydration dough but more towards the low side. 

Also the pics that show them pressing two doughs together, I was thinking that's not the case.  But possibly they are stretching and folding the dough into itself to build more strength.   Is this what you are talking about?  I could definitely see that adding strength, this volume, which would give you lightness and airiness in the crumb. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 05, 2016, 08:19:25 PM

Also the pics that show them pressing two doughs together, I was thinking that's not the case.  But possibly they are stretching and folding the dough into itself to build more strength.   Is this what you are talking about?  I could definitely see that adding strength, this volume, which would give you lightness and airiness in the crumb.

they roll out 12 inch disks in the sheeter and then build the dough till it fills the pan.

I just found a video.  check this out.  Looks like the pans are likely greased a bit, but not doused as other places do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_WwwRH_hr4
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 05, 2016, 09:15:16 PM
Thank you for the added info Artic Pizza.  I only mentioned Texas sweet rolls to say the texture is similar but yes definitely not that sweet.  It's much much less.  When I worked on making a sweet roll, I was using 20% sugar in the dough formulation and it still wasn't as sweet as Texas Roadhouse rolls and L&B is no where near as sweet as my rolls.  How much sugar do you think they are using?  Would you say oil is higher than 4%?  Possible 6% or more?  And hydration?  I'm thinking it's not a wet dough or a high hydration dough but more towards the low side. 

Hydration is function of flour type so can vary, but not a wet dough.  Use a low protein flour.  This type of pie is where an all purpose flour works well as it produces tender fluffy results.  You don't want alot of gluten.  Squares are different than crumb of round NY pies, or something like focaccia (Lots of people make Sicilian square pies that are more like focaccia).  Milk and extra oil/fats retard gluten formation.  It also contributes to browning (ever seen fried milk?).  Start with 5% fat or more (I use oil and Crisco).  I've done it up to 8%.  This gives the crumb "tooth".  I know places that use lard.  If using liquid milk, you want at least 25% milk to flour, anything less won't achieve results.  The rest is water.  Milk powder is highly concentrated, so if using that, then a minimum of 5% powder.   I've seen people stacking the dough when making Sicilian style pies, it seems to help with strength and structure of the crust.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 05, 2016, 10:53:03 PM
Humorous video of the Whitfields making a Little Caesars deep stuffed crust pizza.  Powdered milk and all.
Commercial versions of the NY Sicilians, whether it be Pizza Hut, or Little Caesars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMWYkfh0K-Q
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 05, 2016, 11:01:51 PM
That's a loaded post!  Thank you very much.   They probably do use a low protein flour.   But I did want to say that you can get an ultra soft and tender crumb using HG flour.  I know ppl tend to associate HG flours with chewy and doughy products like bagels and heavy breads, but I make ultra soft light airy crumbs (bread and pizza) with Con Agra's Full Power flour all the time, with and without fats added.  I have videos showing this. It's all in the technique.  Anyways I've been doing 3% fat and 2% dry milk.  I will up both those percentages next time to see if it comes closer. 

Interesting what he says about the sauce: SM tomatoes, S&P, that's it.  I've been using milled 6n1's cut with just a bit of water to account for evaporative losses and I love it. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 05, 2016, 11:21:36 PM
That's a loaded post!  Thank you very much.   They probably do use a low protein flour.   But I did want to say that you can get an ultra soft and tender crumb using HG flour.  I know ppl tend to associate HG flours with chewy and doughy products like bagels and heavy breads, but I make ultra soft light airy crumbs (bread and pizza) with Con Agra's Full Power flour all the time, with and without fats added.  I have videos showing this. It's all in the technique.  Anyways I've been doing 3% fat and 2% dry milk.  I will up both those percentages next time to see if it comes closer. 

Interesting what he says about the sauce: SM tomatoes, S&P, that's it.  I've been using milled 6n1's cut with just a bit of water to account for evaporative losses and I love it.

totally agree.  and likewise, I can get gluten in low gluten flour with few added ingredients and techniques but that's workflow.

the owner is bs'ing most likely.. not gonna divulge everything.  my conclusions are based on my own observations and having worked dough.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 06, 2016, 01:12:16 PM
L&B squares are made in old carbon steel pans. 

You sure about that? Maybe some are aluminium?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 06, 2016, 01:30:31 PM
You sure about that? Maybe some are aluminium?

those are carbon steel.  carbon steel pans can be black or grey.  the black ones are scorched in intense heat with oil in the manufacturing process and sold as "pre-seasoned".  if you scratch a black carbon steel pan enough, you'll get to the grey middle.  a grey one will develop a dark patina after years of use.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 06, 2016, 01:42:36 PM
Nope. Those are aluminium - as are many if not most of the pans in the L&B pictures. Show me one picture of a pan at Di Fara or Artichoke that shows any shine like that no matter how many times it's been cut on. For another thing, where have you seen a carbon steel sheet pan with a closed bead rolled corner like those? Show me where you can buy a carbon steel sheet pan that's not black.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 06, 2016, 02:03:16 PM
Nope. Those are aluminium - as are many if not most of the pans in the L&B pictures. Show me one picture of a pan at Di Fara or Artichoke that shows any shine like that no matter how many times it's been cut on. For another thing, where have you seen a carbon steel sheet pan with a closed bead rolled corner like those? Show me where you can buy a carbon steel sheet pan that's not black.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/47063/carbon-steel-fry-pans.html (they look pretty shiny to me)
http://www.ocweekly.com/restaurants/how-to-season-cast-iron-and-steel-pans-6626702
http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-Chen-21-9978-Classic-Carbon/dp/B002AQSWMU/?tag=pmak-20
http://www.bbqguys.com/item_item_245168.html

aluminum gets extremely volatile at very high heat.  they were made for baking cookies in your home oven.  if anyone ever dared to put an aluminum pan into a high output deck oven, they'd frown on you.  if you invested in aluminum pans at a pizzeria, you'll end up with a collection of twisted warped cookware.

yes, they have made steel pans with rolled, tapered or "folded" corners for the pizza industry dating back decades.  the extremely scratched up pans at L&B are the pans they sell by slice where they're abused by years of scrapes by spatulas and cutters.  slices are kept in pans before ordering. orders of whole pies are cut once in half and removed completely.  for final proof, you will NEVER see an L&B pan washed in water.  they are scraped and rubbed out. 

these days manufacturers don't make many carbon steel pans anymore, as consumers want non-stick, non-rust.  people actually return carbon steel pans and complain they rust with water.  the guys at artichoke bassile had their steel pans custom made for them

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 06, 2016, 02:55:43 PM
hard to find steel pans last 5 years. 

"But the special ingredient most people don't know about is the pan — a certain blue-steel industrial utility pan made for decades by a small company in West Virginia.

Or at least they used to be made there, until the company closed its line about a year ago and moved the work to Mexico — where it still hasn't been able to get production going.

Restaurant supply companies here — and apparently everywhere else — have been out of them for many months.

Pizza makers' orders for pans are stacking up by the thousands and causing problems for big chains and small independents alike.

"You wouldn't even believe how many pans we have on back order" — at least 4,000 small and medium sizes and 700 extra larges — says Patti Domasicwicz at People's Restaurant Equipment in Detroit. She hasn't received a shipment since April."

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700108231/Shortage-of-steel-pans-has-Detroit-style-pizza-makers-scrambling.html?pg=all
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 06, 2016, 03:54:31 PM
That's the best you can come up with?  Aluminium gets volatile at high heat? Just how hot do you think L&B ovens are?

You can't find a single picture of a carbon steel sheet pan with a closed bead corner - let alone a shiny one - that should tell you something. Those pans are as aluminum as the beer can in my hand.

What pizzerias did you say you ran? Oh, wait, you didn't...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 08, 2016, 12:31:48 AM
Well, I went to L B Spumoni Gardens today and ordered one 1/2 pan sicilian pie for the table and two to take home. The pie for the table was sent back because it was 75 per cent gum line. When the new pizza came to the table it was the same, just gummy uncooked and unrisen dough below the sauce and cheese. We asked for the check and got the two for take out and they were exactly the same gummy pizzas. Looking at pizzas at tables next to us and they appeared just like they should with a nice tight crumb that would be expected for this pizza. As we were leaving I stopped and looked at the slice selling side of the restaurant and the slices being pulled from the pan were also just like they should be. Never been so disappointed with a restaurant in my life.

Took the car up north to Emmy Squared to try their Detroit style pizza. The pizza was not cooked properly and anyone cooking one at home will beat the pants off what they sell. The pizza was not cooked enough on top in places and was crispy, but not the kind of crunch you will hear when you cut it with a knife. If you never made this type pizza at home you would probably come away with a better experience. It was tasty.

Traveling to either of these two restaurants by car is not worth the hassle with traffic the way it is to cross over from New Jersey.

At least the Chicago Cubs won today so all in all it was a good day.

Dave
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 08, 2016, 12:41:01 AM
Well, I went to L B Spumoni Gardens today and ordered one 1/2 pan sicilian pie for the table and two to take home. The pie for the table was sent back because it was 75 per cent gum line. When the new pizza came to the table it was the same, just gummy uncooked and unrisen dough below the sauce and cheese. We asked for the check and got the two for take out and they were exactly the same gummy pizzas. Looking at pizzas at tables next to us and they appeared just like they should with a nice tight crumb that would be expected for this pizza. As we were leaving I stopped and looked at the slice selling side of the restaurant and the slices being pulled from the pan were also just like they should be. Never been so disappointed with a restaurant in my life.

Took the car up north to Emmy Squared to try their Detroit style pizza. The pizza was not cooked properly and anyone cooking one at home will beat the pants off what they sell. The pizza was not cooked enough on top in places and was crispy, but not the kind of crunch you will hear when you cut it with a knife. If you never made this type pizza at home you would probably come away with a better experience. It was tasty.

Traveling to either of these two restaurants by car is not worth the hassle with traffic the way it is to cross over from New Jersey.

At least the Chicago Cubs won today so all in all it was a good day.

Dave

that's the toothsome texture that people in nyc like about L&B's.. the squares there always leave tooth imprints within the inner crumb.   some people don't like that and vote for Hillary or eat pizza with fork and knife, I understand.  we all have our preferences. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 09, 2016, 03:33:07 AM
After much time at L&B, I am convinced there is nothing special about the pizzeria, its equipment, or its ingredients. Rather, it's the process that makes it unique.

L&B is built for volume. As a result, it wouldn't surprise me if their sheet pans are aluminum. It's something I hadn't considered, but I would bet they are standard aluminum sheet pans. You can't find steel ones in the size they use, the steel ones don't have corners like that, and based on L&Bs other facets I think they use what's cheap and available...gotta be aluminum sheet pans because they aren't sourcing anything special. I know their food purveyor in Brooklyn. I know the cheese used on their pizza, the flour, etc.  Even their ovens are split in the middle to fit more pizzas. Their is nothing special or unique about the ingredients, ovens, or equipment.

It's a low hydration, standard pizza dough with generic sliced mozzarella, generic pizza sauce, and generic pecorino on top. It's that long proof that makes it really unique. Try it...do a 56% to 58% hydration dough and let it sit, topped, for a few hours in a warm spot after it's been FULLY pressed out. And make sure your dough has a good amount of yeast in it, because L&B is same day.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 09, 2016, 07:54:29 AM

As a result, it wouldn't surprise me if their sheet pans are aluminum. It's something I hadn't considered, but I would bet they are standard aluminum sheet pans. You can't find steel ones in the size they use, the steel ones don't have corners like that, and based on L&Bs other facets I think they use what's cheap and available...gotta be aluminum sheet pans because they aren't sourcing anything special.


Lou,

There used to be steel pans that were as big as L&B' with the rounded edges.  I had two and tried one to make a pizza at Reply 733 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9989.msg131379#msg131379  I think years ago the steel pans were made differently. I don't know if L&B's are steel or aluminum though.  All someone would have to do it lift one to find out how heavy they are.  I know my pans were steel.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on May 10, 2016, 10:07:55 PM
Well, I went to L B Spumoni Gardens today and ordered one 1/2 pan sicilian pie for the table and two to take home. The pie for the table was sent back because it was 75 per cent gum line. When the new pizza came to the table it was the same, just gummy uncooked and unrisen dough below the sauce and cheese. We asked for the check and got the two for take out and they were exactly the same gummy pizzas. Looking at pizzas at tables next to us and they appeared just like they should with a nice tight crumb that would be expected for this pizza. As we were leaving I stopped and looked at the slice selling side of the restaurant and the slices being pulled from the pan were also just like they should be. Never been so disappointed with a restaurant in my life.

Took the car up north to Emmy Squared to try their Detroit style pizza. The pizza was not cooked properly and anyone cooking one at home will beat the pants off what they sell. The pizza was not cooked enough on top in places and was crispy, but not the kind of crunch you will hear when you cut it with a knife. If you never made this type pizza at home you would probably come away with a better experience. It was tasty.

 i agree that L&B can be under cooked at times. for me it is the experience of eating there. it is like a visit to earlier times. from the decor to the customers, i love the feeling. you can get a great pie 80 percent of the time. with the amount of business this place does that's pretty good. and most people are happy even with the under cooked pizza. only us pizza fanatics notice.
 
I think you are selling Emmy Squared short they put out a Detroit style pizza that is worth traveling for. you did not like buddies pizza and they originated the style and Emmy didn't do it for you either. your home made pizza sounds delicious and it probably hard for you to find a pie that has the wonderful characteristics of your home made pie. most members can make amazing pizza, but can they make 300 of them in three hours and maintain quality.Had Emmy2, Had buddies, and no i cannot clone either. loved the experience at both pizzeria's, and will continue visiting both.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 12, 2016, 04:49:18 AM
thezaman

You are absolutely right about home cooking vs a commercial kitchen. I have had countless friends try my recipes and state I should open a restaurant. I do not want another job. After some messaging with Lou from Emmy Squared I want to recant my criticism of the pizza we had at the restaurant. Lou is looking for that soft cheesy top and I misinterpreted that mouth feel with an undercooked top. When that is taken into consideration the pizza at Emmy Squared is right on.
I spend a lot of time in Thailand and am fascinated by the asians love of Japanese milk bread. When I made a focaccia style pizza which is similar to a DS pizza it got rave reviews in Thailand. I think a recipe using the Japanese milk bread style dough would make a great Sicilian style pizza and the Asians would like it a lot. The fact that the DS pizza has that crispy crust is what gets a lot of people hooked on this style both here in the US and in Asia. DS style pizza in parts of Asia will be a huge market.

Dave
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: thezaman on May 12, 2016, 01:21:42 PM
dave, going thru your posts there is a lot of great information in them!!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 14, 2016, 03:01:27 AM
Recent pie from L & B
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 14, 2016, 03:07:18 AM
Home cooked Sicilian pie recipe
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TonyRicci on May 14, 2016, 08:44:40 AM
On looks yours wins hands down.   I like a lot of sauce on a thick pie.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 14, 2016, 12:16:25 PM
Thanks, The sauce is great and the crunch on the bottom is to die for. We use a mix & match approach to making sauce.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 14, 2016, 12:39:07 PM
Nice looking pie E. Man.   Let's take a look at what your numbers look like.  Can you post up formula and methods so we can study it a bit further? 

Also I can't remember, but can someone comment on how crispy crunchy the bottom of L&B's square is?  Both fresh and after it's been sitting.

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 14, 2016, 10:05:23 PM
L&B pans are very likely steel pans and not aluminum.  I baked a pan pizza tonight in a Nordicware aluminum cake pan for 16min on the lowest rack at 475F and the bottom was not brown at all.  Instead, it looked unbaked.  I've always baked with steel pans and never had this problem before.  Aluminum is not the way to go.  It was a complete and utter failure in the worse way.  Barely any rise at all despite proofing the dough out well.  Shows how important heat transfer is.  I had to put the pan directly on the oven floor for another 4m to brown the bottom up and the crust is still floppy and soft.  The whole pizza is barely baked. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: elephant man on May 15, 2016, 12:17:42 AM
Jackie, When I made the Sicilian pizza I used the Cooks Illustrated recipe that is 50 % semolina. Used the dough calculator for the dough ball. If I recall correctly it was close to four pounds of dough. I tried to follow the recipe best I could and used a 3 day cold ferment as I was to busy to do something earlier. Used a non stick aluminum pan for one and a regular sheet pan for the other 16 gauge. Always coat  the pans with butter flavored Crisco and par baked for 3 min with cheddar cheese and pecorino romano sprinkled on top. The cheddar is applied very generously on the edge. Pulled the pie out and added mozzarella.Put another sheet pan on top as a cover and baked again for 4 min. Pulled the pie again and added peppers. onions, and sauce. Back in the oven for 3 or 4 min. and you can see when it should be pulled. These were cooked in a convection oven at 500 degrees F. The par bake and the top pan cover are what allows the bottom to crisp up. Signature pie to die for. Everybody loves them.
The second go around for this pie was just the recipe for a DS pizza at 75% Hydration, High gluten flour, AB Mauri LD Malt at 2%, 1% sugar, 2% salt, 10 % semolina  (I add semolina to everything),3% oil and.5% IDY. I like to mix until the dough leaves the bottom of the bowl, I guess that's an intensive mix. Put the dough ball on the greased pan and film over tightly. Lately it's 55 to 60 in my warehouse and just let it R/F for 5 or 6 hours. Then we push the dough into the pans and I warm up my oven to 100 Degrees F and let the dough rise for about an hour. I do spray the dough with oil before they prove and cover the pans with film again. We do have to take the pans out so we can preheat the oven but its a commercial convection oven and heats up pretty quick.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 17, 2016, 02:26:33 AM
Elephantman,

My eyes are telling me that L&B pie is cooked through. I can tell by the crust on the end. What you perceive to be a gum line or undercooked dough is, in my opinion, the cheese baked into the top the dough that can further create the perception of an undercooked dough by spreading down the sides and into the crumb when the pie is cut. That's kind of what you get with sauce under the cheese...it's a different texture, particularly when compared to a par baked square. I don't love par-baked pizzas (I can always tell when they are...Roberta's square pop up did it, GGs does it, DiFara does it) and I really only ever enjoyed DiFara's but yours looks excellent. It definitely does make the bottom crunchy! Those pies are a much different texture from places like L&B and Prince street, IMO. The tops of parbaked pies tend do be firmer; without cheese, the tops can dry out a little bit.

As for the aluminum pans, I find they cook a little quicker and can even burn the bottoms if you're not careful. I don't see why L&B couldn't be using them.

I remember when I worked at Paulie's we would make grandma style pies from the dough in an aluminum sheet pan that was well oiled before service. Surprisingly, they never stuck (pans weren't seasoned) and they were always super crispy in about 12 minutes in the range. If I could do it in a standard food service aluminum sheet tray I don't see why anyone else couldn't. Even my Lloyds bake a little darker due to the aluminum.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 07:02:50 AM

As for the aluminum pans, I find they cook a little quicker and can even burn the bottoms if you're not careful. I don't see why L&B couldn't be using them.

I remember when I worked at Paulie's we would make grandma style pies from the dough in an aluminum sheet pan that was well oiled before service. Surprisingly, they never stuck (pans weren't seasoned) and they were always super crispy in about 12 minutes in the range. If I could do it in a standard food service aluminum sheet tray I don't see why anyone else couldn't. Even my Lloyds bake a little darker due to the aluminum.

Unless, my aluminum cake pan is made from something other than aluminum or made differently somehow, I don't understand how it works in one kitchen and not in another.  Anyone else bake their squares in aluminum?  Would love to see pics.   Until then, I'm sticking to my own observations.  When I tried it, it didn't bake quicker but much much slower. About 20m of baking, the pie was still unbaked.  Took one small bite and tossed the rest.  Went back to baking in steel the next evening and the difference is night and day.  Here's a pie I baked in a steel pan.  It stands straight out.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jeff v on May 17, 2016, 09:24:29 AM
I'm guessing here but think most commercial baking sheets you see are aluminized steel vs a stamped aluminum pan you used Chau. I've baked plenty of pizzas in these and believe it's what the L&B pans are up thread.

http://www.bhg.com/shop/amco-focus-foodservice-commercial-bakeware-13-by-18-inch-18-gauge-aluminum-half-sheet-pan-p3241e8a1d85d1b9413ffa84ca715cd61.html

"Amco Half Size Sheet Pan is manufactured to meet the exacting standards of the toughest commercial bakeries and food service establishments. Each pan is crafted from heavy-gauge aluminized steel, a 3-ply material consisting of two layers of tough corrosion-resistant 18-guage 3003 aluminum alloy around the durability, strength and superior heat conduction of carbon steel. The frame is supported by a thick, coated reinforcing wire to give the pan additional strength and insure greater durability. Bottom of pan is concave and will flatten during heating for even distribution. Natural finish."
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 09:31:39 AM
Ah that must be the difference.  Thank you Jeff.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on May 17, 2016, 09:50:37 AM
I'm guessing here but think most commercial baking sheets you see are aluminized steel vs a stamped aluminum pan you used Chau. I've baked plenty of pizzas in these and believe it's what the L&B pans are up thread.

http://www.bhg.com/shop/amco-focus-foodservice-commercial-bakeware-13-by-18-inch-18-gauge-aluminum-half-sheet-pan-p3241e8a1d85d1b9413ffa84ca715cd61.html

"Amco Half Size Sheet Pan is manufactured to meet the exacting standards of the toughest commercial bakeries and food service establishments. Each pan is crafted from heavy-gauge aluminized steel, a 3-ply material consisting of two layers of tough corrosion-resistant 18-guage 3003 aluminum alloy around the durability, strength and superior heat conduction of carbon steel. The frame is supported by a thick, coated reinforcing wire to give the pan additional strength and insure greater durability. Bottom of pan is concave and will flatten during heating for even distribution. Natural finish."

I was just going to post the same thing.  My brother has aluminized steel calphalon sheet pans. 

http://focusfoodservice.com/sheet-pans.html?detail=true
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 10:05:15 AM
I'm guessing here but think most commercial baking sheets you see are aluminized steel vs a stamped aluminum pan you used Chau. I've baked plenty of pizzas in these and believe it's what the L&B pans are up thread.

While I wouldn't be shocked to find out that some/all of L&B's pans are steel of some sort, my guess is still that they are aluminum.

As far as what most baking sheets are, I'd be surprised if there was 1 steel/aluminized steel baking sheet for every 1,000 aluminium sheet pan in US restaurants.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 10:12:04 AM
Unless, my aluminum cake pan is made from something other than aluminum or made differently somehow, I don't understand how it works in one kitchen and not in another.  Anyone else bake their squares in aluminum?  Would love to see pics.   Until then, I'm sticking to my own observations.  When I tried it, it didn't bake quicker but much much slower. About 20m of baking, the pie was still unbaked.  Took one small bite and tossed the rest.  Went back to baking in steel the next evening and the difference is night and day.  Here's a pie I baked in a steel pan.  It stands straight out.

I've only baked squares in aluminium, so I can't comment on the difference vs steel. Notwithstanding, it would stand to reason that something other than the pan material was going on if you baked for 20 minutes and it was still unbaked. Is your steel pan shiny or dark?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jeff v on May 17, 2016, 10:36:40 AM
While I wouldn't be shocked to find out that some/all of L&B's pans are steel of some sort, my guess is still that they are aluminum.

As far as what most baking sheets are, I'd be surprised if there was 1 steel/aluminized steel baking sheet for every 1,000 aluminium sheet pan in US restaurants.

Very well could be -it was a guess on my part. I also believe the high sides on Chaus pan had something to do a his results.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 11:48:20 AM
Very well could be -it was a guess on my part. I also believe the high sides on Chaus pan had something to do a his results.

Jeff when I use a steel cake pan with high sides, I don't have the same issue with lack of heat transfer.  The bottom and sides crisp up and darken as it does in the Lloyd pans (which also have high sides).  It's likely the material it's made from.  Apparently aluminized steel bakes very differently than stamped aluminum.

Here are a few pics of a high wall steel cake pan and the pizza that came from it.  Similar formula to the one baked in the aluminum cake pan.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41848.msg424590#msg424590

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jeff v on May 17, 2016, 11:59:20 AM
Jeff when I use a steel cake pan with high sides, I don't have the same issue with lack of heat transfer.  The bottom and sides crisp up and darken as it does in the Lloyd pans (which also have high sides).  It's likely the material it's made from.  Apparently aluminized steel bakes very differently than stamped aluminum.

Fair enough. I was thinking about roasting in a pan w high sides in general I guess.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 12:33:02 PM
Jeff when I use a steel cake pan with high sides, I don't have the same issue with lack of heat transfer.  The bottom and sides crisp up and darken as it does in the Lloyd pans (which also have high sides).  It's likely the material it's made from.  Apparently aluminized steel bakes very differently than stamped aluminum.

Here are a few pics of a high wall steel cake pan and the pizza that came from it.  Similar formula to the one baked in the aluminum cake pan.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41848.msg424590#msg424590

My guess is all of the difference in baking you experienced is the result of dark vs. shiny as opposed to steel vs. aluminium. Since aluminium is 4X as conductive as steel, maybe more than all of the difference is a result of the color.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 01:06:08 PM
Interesting.  Is there a way to darken this cake pan so that it bakes pan pizza like it should?  It's surface feels slighltly rough so maybe I can season it with oil. 

I was reading that some pans also have a thin layer of air in the middle, which helps of bake evenly but hinders its ability to brown.  This maybe the case in this particular pan I have as well. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 17, 2016, 01:33:05 PM
Yea, aluminum gets hotter more quickly than steel no question.

In food service, it's extremely rare to find anyone using aluminized steel sheet trays. They are all aluminum...that's what's available and what everyone buys and what's cheap.

My guess is all of the difference in baking you experienced is the result of dark vs. shiny as opposed to steel vs. aluminium. Since aluminium is 4X as conductive as steel, maybe more than all of the difference is a result of the color.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 01:55:15 PM
Interesting.  Is there a way to darken this cake pan so that it bakes pan pizza like it should?  It's surface feels slighltly rough so maybe I can season it with oil. 

These are both the same make and model of aluminium pan. The one on the right started off shiny just like the one on the left. Both look like the one on the right today. Seasoned a half dozen or so times with very thin coats of oil.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 02:15:58 PM
Thanks Craig.  And that's straight up aluminum, and not aluminized steel?   Just making sure.  Glad to know that aluminum cake pan can be salvageable!

Also are you using metal utensils in any of your pans aluminum or steel?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 02:27:03 PM
Yes - straight aluminium. The only pans I try not to use metal utensils with are non-stick, but I rarely use non-stick pans. Pies pretty much slide right off these pans like they were non-stick. I don't think I've ever needed to use a spatula or anything on them. I do use a metal spatula on my seasoned-steel DS pans.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 17, 2016, 10:02:43 PM
Nearly anything can be seasoned. Rounded corners look like aluminum pans I've never seen steel pans with rounded corners...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 17, 2016, 10:27:27 PM
I'm wanting to season two aluminum pans with flaxseed oil and a benzomatic torch.  Do I need to be concerned about melting my pans?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 17, 2016, 11:53:56 PM
You don't need a torch. Flaxseed oil and an oven is the easiest seasoning there is.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 18, 2016, 07:02:28 AM
I've only baked squares in aluminium, so I can't comment on the difference vs steel. Notwithstanding, it would stand to reason that something other than the pan material was going on if you baked for 20 minutes and it was still unbaked. Is your steel pan shiny or dark?

Sorry I somehow missed this yesterday.  My Nordicware aluminum cake pan is your typical light color aluminum pan.  The steel cake pan is a dark gunmetal gray.  Pictured below.

My guess is all of the difference in baking you experienced is the result of dark vs. shiny as opposed to steel vs. aluminium. Since aluminium is 4X as conductive as steel, maybe more than all of the difference is a result of the color.

I think you may be correct in your assessment.  At least I hope so.  I've begun the process of seasoning both aluminum pans I have, one sheet pan and one cake pan.  Both are relatively new and the failed bake in the cake pan was the first time I baked anything in it.  I'm anxious to get my pans as dark as yours and see how they bake compared to steel.  Since aluminum is 4x more conductive, I'm hoping to see a difference in my usual crusts. 

Anyways, here's last nights pan in the high walled dark steel cake pan. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on May 18, 2016, 09:59:19 AM
Chau,

For Tom Lehmann's recommended advice for seasoning pans, see the thread at the PMQ Think Tank at:

http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/how-to-season-pizza-tins.8016/

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 18, 2016, 10:16:45 AM
Thank you Peter.  That is very helpful.  Some great info in that thread. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 19, 2016, 12:26:52 AM
Chau,

The crumb and bottom of that pie looks exactly like L&B! Details on the bake, dough, amount of oil in the pan?! The bottom looks like they deep brown, dry bread texture rather than the oily hyper crisp stuff from other places
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 19, 2016, 10:56:41 AM
Did a square Sicilian pie yesterday at home. 75% hydration.  5% milk powder.  AP flour.   Steel pan. 
Fast bake at 525 degrees 7-8 minutes, not  longer at lower temp or end up with something dry like focaccia from evaporation.
Inside texture like a soft pliable donut/white bread hybrid.  Bottom crust is charred, crispy, crunchy.   
Sicilians are not meant to be chewy like a NY slice, but airy and light.  If it is chewy then it's just a fat NY pie.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 19, 2016, 11:16:44 AM
Lou, from memory...CAFP flour, 60% HR, 0.4% Yeast, 1.5% salt, 4% oil, 4% dry milk, 2% sugar.  The bake was done at 475F for 16min total, one rack up from the lowest rung.  4min covered with just cheese, then sauce, and 12 min uncovered.  Just a thin layer of butter in the bottom of the pan.  The bottom crust was dry and crunchy, and not oily.  Most of the crunch remained even after 20 minutes of sitting on the rack.  Reheating a slice was over the top.  Even though it looks just like L&B, the softness wasn't spot on this time, but still fantastic to eat. 

Maybe I'm missing something b/c I simply do not understand how you guys are doing high hydration doughs and not getting gummy pies.  That's all of you guys doing any type of deep dish with BF or weaker and doing 70% plus hydration plus oil.  Makes no sense to me at all.  Doesn't add up at all.  What am I missing?   ???

Artic Pizza, how was the crumb?  Was it just like L&B's?  You are at 75% hydration?  Does that include the oil or is that just the water?   How are you able to use that hydration AND only baking for 8 minutes and getting a crunchy bottom?  Does the crunch last?  I can get any pizza to be crunchy straight from the oven, but that's not really the goal here.  The goal is a crunchy pie that stays cruchy after the cool down. 

Also do you know L&B's bake time?  Do they bake their squares no longer than 8 minutes?

Can you tell me more about your mixing protocol including any S&F's?  How high are you bulk fermenting for? 

I want to recreate this pizza but a lot of this info you guys are posting up is conflicting and it doesn't match what I know or what's happening in the kitchen.   ::)

BTW, good looking square Artic Pizza!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 19, 2016, 11:34:13 AM

Artic Pizza, how was the crumb?  Was it just like L&B's?  You are at 75% hydration?  Does that include the oil or is that just the water?   How are you able to use that hydration AND only baking for 8 minutes and getting a crunchy bottom?  Does the crunch last?  I can get any pizza to be crunchy straight from the oven, but that's not really the goal here.  The goal is a crunchy pie that stays cruchy after the cool down. 

Also do you know L&B's bake time?  Do they bake their squares no longer than 8 minutes?

Can you tell me more about your mixing protocol including any S&F's?  How high are you bulk fermenting for? 

I want to recreate this pizza but a lot of this info you guys are posting up is conflicting and it doesn't match what I know or what's happening in the kitchen.   ::)

Purpose was to recreate an L&B crumb.  It is very close, We can all post pictures, but describing the crumb is important.  It is an almost donuty white bread texture that a 3 year old wouldn't have trouble munching on.  No elaborate fermenting process as with a thin crust NY pie.  I used same day dough made early in morning and baked in afternoon.

L&B's is in and out of their oven in the 8 minute range, not 15 minute.  This is possible via ovens they modify with very low headroom, they have a stone in between the bottom stone and ceiling, which lets them put 2 levels of pans in the oven.  You need to do this because without it, your bottom crust will burn at high heat before the top cooks.  You can do this by broiling a steel or stone at max for 30 minutes in the oven, and then carefully putting the steel in the middle/lower rack.  Place the pan right under in lowest rack with 1-2" headroom.  I baked at 525.  A lower temp longer bake will dry out your pie.  That may contribute to you pie not being soft.  What kind of flour are you using?  High gluten flour will be too chewy and elasticky.

75% just water.  I use softened Crisco for fat, not oil.  Up to the 90's, pizzerias were still using lard in their Sicilian doughs.  No more though.
100% rise, then shaped into greased steel pan and 50% proof.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 19, 2016, 11:42:55 AM

  How are you able to use that hydration AND only baking for 8 minutes and getting a crunchy bottom?  Does the crunch last?  I can get any pizza to be crunchy straight from the oven, but that's not really the goal here.  The goal is a crunchy pie that stays cruchy after the cool down. 

Steel pan, high heat, oiled pan, low headroom.  The crust should have a fried texture when finished.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 19, 2016, 11:53:59 AM
Ok I will try it and report back 

I also use used crisco or butter for fat.  How much Crisco did you use in the dough for this formula?

Did you use sugar in this dough?  I don't think it makes a difference but we talked about how their crumb has a sweetness to it.

How long did you mix the dough for?  What kind of mixer are you using?  And after the mix, you are just balling  the dough up and letting it double correct?  No stretch and folds?

I will try your process and bake tonight and report back and I will use AP flour this time.  Though I am still skeptical of AP flour and 75% hydration though.  I hope I am wrong AP.  Thanks for the details. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 19, 2016, 12:04:45 PM
Ok I will try it and report back 

I also use used crisco or butter for fat.  How much Crisco did you use in the dough for this formula?

Did you use sugar in this dough?  I don't think it makes a difference but we talked about how their crumb has a sweetness to it.

How long did you mix the dough for?  What kind of mixer are you using?  And after the mix, you are just balling  the dough up and letting it double correct?  No stretch and folds?

I will try your process and bake tonight and report back and I will use AP flour this time.  Though I am still skeptical of AP flour and 75% hydration though.  I hope I am wrong AP.  Thanks for the details.

I did 3% Crisco.  2% salt.  2% instant yeast.  I didn't add sugar this time, but i'll try next time at 2-3%. 
I do 70% hydration at work for sicilian, but 75% seems better in a home oven.  The high hydration may seem odd to you, but this isn't thin crust pizza dough.  Baking regular pizza dough in a pan, will just get you focaccia or a fat chewy NY pie.

Mixed for 8 minutes with a kitchenaid and dough hook, no stretching, no fold.  With sicilians don't wanna build a lot of gluten.  It's not focaccia or thin crust.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 19, 2016, 12:29:01 PM
Thanks for the added details AP.  Your mix of 8 min in the KA is on speed 1 right?  Not speed 4 or 10 right?  Just making sure I have the details correct.  I also like your use of 2% IDY.  I have this untested theory that highly yeasted doughs can yield very airy and crispy results.  Yes the hydration seems really odd to me, but not b/c I've got thin crust pizza dough or focaccia dough on my mind.  I'm strictly speaking from the stand point of having performed many different experiments with all different strengths of flour, every combination of mixing, strength building you can imagine.  That high of a hydration and weak of a flour doesn't give me the results I like, which is airy and light.  Experiment after experiment.  I know the textures I usually get with low protein flours and high hydration, but I will put all that aside and report back.  Thank you again. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on May 19, 2016, 02:06:50 PM
Chau, I was reading in the original Blackstone thread when the subject of high hydration and crispness came up...maybe Peter"s comments will pertain to the question.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3944.msg70562#msg70562

Back to slogging through that behemoth of a topic! 

edited to add that y'all discuss further this concept of high hydration, negating the concept somewhat...Nevah mind!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 19, 2016, 02:55:08 PM
Reesa thanks for posting that link.  I have had a few exchanges with members about hydration and crispiness.  While it is true, you can only do this to an extent.  So a higher hydrated dough can be crispier than its drier cousin (by say a few  % points). The reason why it works is b/c it has to be paired with increase gluten development.  Meaning you can not simply just increase hydration and get a crispier pizza.  Try it and you'll see.  Take your normal pizza dough recipe.  Increase the hydration by 5-10% points.  Keep everything else the same.  Same mixing times, S&F's, bulk times, proof times, bake time and temp, etc.  Will you get a crispier pizza??  No, instead you'll get a softer, wetter, and chewier product. 

To make it work, we need to build more strength into wet doughs.  Gluten forms a lot slower in wetter and weaker floured doughs.  When there is improved gluten development, it helps give the dough strength to support fermentation and the expanding gases so that during the bake, the increase volume of the dough allows that excess moisture to vent out leading to a crispier crust and more soft and airy crumb. 

The downside to a wetter dough, is that if you don't build the gluten properly or strong enough AND you don't ferment the dough out well enough, you now may also have to bake the product longer to bake off the excess moisture.   And moisture, or excess moisture leads to a softened crust after the product rests post bake.   These are just things I've noted while working with higher hydration doughs, be it bread or pizza.  This is why Im saying things don't make sense to me.  I see a number of ppl making higher hydration pan pizzas with weaker than HG flour and building a lot less strength than I am.  Baking about the same amount of time and yet they are getting crispy or crispier pizza.  I don't believe things should work any differently from one kitchen to the next.   And this isn't just theory.  A few simple tests can easily show what I'm talking about. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on May 19, 2016, 03:13:46 PM
Chau, thanks for the write-up. Yes, I have been there, done that.  My pizza start was with the MBE and higher hydration dough...then the tartine bread dough and baking that in the MBE....and into the home oven on cordierite and not having the temp to get my high hydration dough to respond as well.  Underdeveloped dough because of No Knead methods...too many variables and not enough paying attention to detail. The softer, wetter, chewier pizza was becoming an irritation.  I still struggled with using a high hydration when I shouldn't be doing that in my home oven, and I could not get it into my thick head that this was the issue, even as I actually typed it in my thread, I would go right back to 68% or 72% .... I realize you are talking about pan baked pizzas here, but have you seen the Ligurian pizza that Craig made?  literally calls for water/oil poured onto the dough.  I don't recall if it had a crisp crust though, but it looked soft and springy.  Now I have this Blackstone to deal with, and all sorts of learning curves to conquer. Plus, now I see some challenge you threw out there.  hahaha
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 19, 2016, 03:48:09 PM
Recent pie from L & B

what you think is the 75% gumline in your pictures is actually a layer of low moisture mozzarella cheese that bakes into the top of the dough.  That's part of the texture profile of the L&B square.
tho I must admit, the picture of the pies you got looked pretty bad.  must have been a bad day, they typically have a more substantial crust. 

I have observed consistency at l&b's to have dropped significantly in the past 5 years or so. 

the l&b square:
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 20, 2016, 12:07:45 AM
Tried Artic Pizza's method tonight and made a pretty decent pizza.  KABF, 70% HR, 1.5% CY, 2% salt, 3% coconut oil, 2% dry milk, and 2% LDMP.   Mix 8 min in the KA mixer on spd 1.   Balled up, lightly oiled and bulk for almost 2 hours.  Pushed into pan, and CF for a few hours.  RT proof until ready to bake.  500F on the lowest rack for just shy of 12min. I tried baking for 8min but the bottom wasn't done so I put it back in and baked another 4m.  I was a bit skeptical, but it did produce a crispy bottom that maintained much of it's crispiness even after the cool down.  The crumb was a bit more gummy than I would like.  While I like the shorter bake time Bc the sauce is not so cooked out, the increase hydration, less gluten development, & the shorter bake time I believe contributed to the increased gumminess.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 08:54:38 AM
Tried Artic Pizza's method tonight and made a pretty decent pizza.  KABF, 70% HR, 1.5% CY, 2% salt, 3% coconut oil, 2% dry milk, and 2% LDMP.   Mix 8 min in the KA mixer on spd 1.   Balled up, lightly oiled and bulk for almost 2 hours.  Pushed into pan, and CF for a few hours.  RT proof until ready to bake.  500F on the lowest rack for just shy of 12min. I tried baking for 8min but the bottom wasn't done so I put it back in and baked another 4m.  I was a bit skeptical, but it did produce a crispy bottom that maintained much of it's crispiness even after the cool down.  The crumb was a bit more gummy than I would like.  While I like the shorter bake time Bc the sauce is not so cooked out, the increase hydration, less gluten development, & the shorter bake time I believe contributed to the increased gumminess.

Nice pics. I use minimum 5% dry milk, anything less won't do much.  If using liquid milk, minimum 25% or else it's expensive water. 
Few observations.  A pan with shallower walls, around 1" would have helped the overall bake and crumb, top, etc. 
Need a heat source directly above the pan, as I suggested with a makeshift low headroom pizza oven in your kitchen oven with a broiled stone or steel would have helped. 
Otherwise, makes sense to have to bake longer in home oven.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 20, 2016, 12:26:12 PM
My crumb doesn't look anything like yours AP.  Why do you suppose that is?  The difference being the dry milk?  I'll retest tonight.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 02:32:24 PM
My crumb doesn't look anything like yours AP.  Why do you suppose that is?  The difference being the dry milk?  I'll retest tonight.

yes, I think upping your current dry milk from 2% to something like 5-6% would change the crumb.
that is if you're trying to get something closer to l&b's. not all Sicilians are made with dairy in the mix.  your pie looks like a Sicilian they make at prince st pizza.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1yvusl4kIhI/VIZ_9K8DIyI/AAAAAAAA3rQ/kCcZ7taXZhA/s640/DSC_0071jk.JPG
l&b square is soft and a bit dense.  if you mush it with your fingers, it's quite doughy.  always leaves big toothmarks in the bite.



Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 03:40:38 PM
My crumb doesn't look anything like yours AP.  Why do you suppose that is?  The difference being the dry milk?  I'll retest tonight.

I am also going to try something this weekend.  l&b rolls out smaller doughballs through a machine and then layers them on each other and pressed into pan.  I will try that to see if it affects the crumb.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 03:42:01 PM
Have you folks looked here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=42903.0
at some discussion of the Cooks Illustrated take on Sicilian pie? 

I ask because I know that, on their show, they seemed to be modeling after L&B including a visit to the restaurant and discussions with the bakers.  Also, others on the forum mentioned that it was, indeed, similar.  I have no personal knowledge - haven't been there.  I can say that we like this pie a lot.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 04:19:44 PM
I'm wanting to season two aluminum pans with flaxseed oil and a benzomatic torch.  Do I need to be concerned about melting my pans?

Aluminum bakeware is banned in most of Europe and Canada.  It's a highly volatile, soft metal, and stressed even at 500-600 degrees for years will break down and release hydroxide poison, leading to stomach and gastrointenstinal problems, like ulcers and colitis.  It is also linked to alzheimers.  Torching aluminum will only exacerbate that.  It is legal in the USA but so is bromated hi gluten flour which is a carcinogen, except in California. 
 
Also, conductivity does not equate heat retention, so just because aluminum conducts heat well, does not mean performs well.   Aluminum does a horrible job retaining heat.  It conducts in heat as fast as it leeches out heat.  Those who use electric ovens know that the internal temp of an oven fluctuates a lot.  When the elements turn off, that aluminum pan is sucking heat out of your pizza pretty effectively which may explain your lack of browning and spring in your previous experiment with an aluminum pan. 

Copper is a good conductor and good consistent heat retention
Steel is a slow conductor, but excellent consistent heat retention.

For decades, the main source for commercial steel Sicilian pans was a small manufacturer in West Virginia.  They closed shop, and rebooted in Mexico 6 years ago.  They have not been able to fill the backorders since.  I know this was a big concern for the guys at Artichoke Basille, they had to do a custom order of steel pans with a separate metal fabricator to ensure rollouts of their restaurants because they couldn't find any on the market.  There is a company called Paderno that is mass producing steel baking sheets again.  1-1/8" height, they can be bought online now. 

I'm sure there are pizzerias that use aluminum.  I wonder if this has coincided with the major quality decline of Sicilian pies throughout NYC street pizzerias.  Boy have they declined.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 04:51:36 PM
Aluminum bakeware is banned in most of Europe and Canada.  It's a highly volatile, soft metal, and stressed even at 500-600 degrees for years will break down and release hydroxide poison, leading to stomach and gastrointenstinal problems, like ulcers and colitis.  It is also linked to alzheimers.  Torching aluminum will only exacerbate that.  It is legal in the USA but so is bromated hi gluten flour which is a carcinogen, except in California. 

Every word in this paragraph is BS. Or maybe you can provide some links to REPUTABLE sources that confirm any of it???
 
Quote
Also, conductivity does not equate heat retention, so just because aluminum conducts heat well, does not mean performs well.   Aluminum does a horrible job retaining heat.  It conducts in heat as fast as it leeches out heat.  Those who use electric ovens know that the internal temp of an oven fluctuates a lot.  When the elements turn off, that aluminum pan is sucking heat out of your pizza pretty effectively which may explain your lack of browning and spring in your previous experiment with an aluminum pan. 
 

You have no idea what you are talking about. Heat always moves from hotter to cooler. A pizza is never hotter than the oven, so heat never moves out of the pizza while it’s in the oven.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 06:02:56 PM

You have no idea what you are talking about. Heat always moves from hotter to cooler. A pizza is never hotter than the oven, so heat never moves out of the pizza while it’s in the oven.

You have no clue.  Open an oven that reads 450 degrees on the thermometer and put your hand in there.  If the ambient temp of the oven was actually 450 degrees, you'd have 3rd degree burns within seconds and that isn't the case.  Ambient temp in various zones of an oven can fluctuate hundreds of degrees and your pan is resting within ambient air.

The element that attaches to the thermometer is made of steel, and that's what the thermometer is reading, not the ambient air.  That said, when the heating elements in an oven turn off, aluminum does very little for your bake as it doesn't hold heat.  Also, opening and closing an oven during a bake, aluminum does a great job cooling that hot pizza in the oven until closed or when the elements re-heat.  On the other hand, a steel pan will achieve the high temp, and stays there. 



Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 06:51:25 PM
Open an oven that reads 450 degrees on the thermometer and put your hand in there.  If the ambient temp of the oven was actually 450 degrees, you'd have 3rd degree burns within seconds and that isn't the case.  Ambient temp in various zones of an oven can fluctuate hundreds of degrees and your pan is resting within ambient air.


No.  The air in the oven (with some obvious, minor and not important to the discussion fluctuation) is 450.  The reason your hand does not burn is that air is not very conductive.  Leave your hand in there for more than a few seconds - you will succeed in getting burned.

Assume the air temperature did fluctuate by hundreds of degrees - maybe all the way down to 212.  And, yes, you put your hand in there for a few seconds and you did not burn.  But, then put your hand in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.  You would be severely burned.

It is the conductivity of the air vs. solid or liquid materials that makes the difference.  Not fluctuation in air temperature.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 06:53:37 PM
You have no clue.  Open an oven that reads 450 degrees on the thermometer and put your hand in there.  If the ambient temp of the oven was actually 450 degrees, you'd have 3rd degree burns within seconds and that isn't the case.  Ambient temp in various zones of an oven can fluctuate hundreds of degrees and your pan is resting within ambient air.

You don't get 3rd degree burns withing seconds because the thermal conductivity of air at 450F is about 0.04W/mK. Steel, for example at 50W/mK is 1,250X more conductive.

You can go on embarrassing yourself, or you can quit while you are behind...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 07:06:01 PM
You don't get 3rd degree burns withing seconds because the thermal conductivity of air at 450F is about 0.04W/mK. Steel, for example at 50W/mK is 1,250X more conductive.

You can go on embarrassing yourself, or you can quit while you are behind...

yes on air conductivity, but you are completely wrong on the discussion on hand.  the thermostat in an oven doesn't measure temperature of ambient air, it measures the temp of the steel element attached to it and it is typically placed on the left or right wall near the ceiling.  at the lowest rack, 1/2" from the element, temperature can be up to 600 degrees as the heating element is on all while the oven thermometer is only registering 275.  when off, it can dip all the way down to 200 degrees and below at the upper rack.  ambient air temp in an electric oven fluctuates greatly during a bake.  oven thermometer is giving you a temperature of the surface of a steel element attached to it, and why people use steel pans because it closely reflects how hot the pan will be to what the oven reports.  it's also preferred because the heat is retained..  if bake with aluminum with very little heat retention on the middle rack for instance, your pan can easily register 225 degrees while the thermometer reads 450 when the heating element turns off or open the oven door.  you are obviously evading the main point of the discussion, because you are wrong.  the point was steel is a better metal to bake with, you are fighting the losing battle here championing aluminum. 

and I'd like to say you are a complete snot of a person by the way you respond, we can disagree, but don't make it personal, I'm having a discussion with Jackie about L&B.  you have clearly stated in the past that you dislike L&B so why are you even posting and trolling here. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on May 20, 2016, 07:39:20 PM
Guys,

Please try to keep it civil. Make your points and discuss them all you want but try not to engage in personal attacks.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 08:27:29 PM
No.  The air in the oven (with some obvious, minor and not important to the discussion fluctuation) is 450.  The reason your hand does not burn is that air is not very conductive.  Leave your hand in there for more than a few seconds - you will succeed in getting burned.

Assume the air temperature did fluctuate by hundreds of degrees - maybe all the way down to 212.  And, yes, you put your hand in there for a few seconds and you did not burn.  But, then put your hand in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.  You would be severely burned.

It is the conductivity of the air vs. solid or liquid materials that makes the difference.  Not fluctuation in air temperature.

everything you say is correct, and nice arbitrary number at 212 deg.  now preheat your oven to 500 deg.  turn off oven.  wait 5 minutes as heating element goes off.  my internal oven thermometer still read 400 deg via it's steel element.  i got my stainless tigerchef liquid oven thermometer to get a reading of the ambient air near the center of the oven.  mine read 138deg.  now how would that jive with an aluminum pan with low heat retention?

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 10:03:46 PM
everything you say is correct, and nice arbitrary number at 212 deg.  now preheat your oven to 500 deg.  turn off oven.  wait 5 minutes as heating element goes off.  my internal oven thermometer still read 400 deg via it's steel element.  i got my stainless tigerchef liquid oven thermometer to get a reading of the ambient air near the center of the oven.  mine read 138deg.  now how would that jive with an aluminum pan with low heat retention?

Arctic Pizza:

212 was, as I would guess you would figure, not arbitrary.  It was deliberately selected because it is the boiling point of water.  So, on the one side (liquid) you are assured of a completely stable temperature when you are comparing to an oven that, although set for 450, can have fluctuation to that level or below (according to what you say you measured). 

Having said that, if you want to test it with water at, say, 138, then you will find the same result.  You can put your hand in the "450" oven for far longer than you can put your hand in 138 degree water before you experience discomfort.

With regards to your measurement of 138, it sounds awfully low but I do not know how you measured it nor do I know about the temperature fluctuation in an oven from moment to moment, inch to inch.  That type of measure is not useful for baking and the slow acting thermometers are slow on purpose so we know the average temperature for our bakes.  Minute to minute (or a bit more) is much more useful than moment to moment.

With regards to your question "how would that jive with an aluminum pan with low heat retention?" - I do not have a particularly well informed opinion on that matter nor did I imply such.   If you read my post, including the section of your post that I had quoted, you will see that my focus was very specifically related to the concept of conductivity and your statement about 3rd degree burns at an oven temperature of 450.


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:08:23 PM
Arctic Pizza:

212 was, as I would guess you would figure, not arbitrary.  It was deliberately selected because it is the boiling point of water.  So, on the one side (liquid) you are assured of a completely stable temperature when you are comparing to an oven that, although set for 450, can have fluctuation to that level or below (according to what you say you measured). 

Having said that, if you want to test it with water at, say, 138, then you will find the same result.  You can put your hand in the "450" oven for far longer than you can put your hand in 138 degree water before you experience discomfort.

With regards to your measurement of 138, it sounds awfully low but I do not know how you measured it nor do I know about the temperature fluctuation in an oven from moment to moment, inch to inch.  That type of measure is not useful for baking and the slow acting thermometers are slow on purpose so we know the average temperature for our bakes.  Minute to minute (or a bit more) is much more useful than moment to moment.

With regards to your question "how would that jive with an aluminum pan with low heat retention?" - I do not have a particularly well informed opinion on that matter nor did I imply such.   If you read my post, including the section of your post that I had quoted, you will see that my focus was very specifically related to the concept of conductivity and your statement about 3rd degree burns at an oven temperature of 450.

my point was an oven temperature of 450 does not mean ambient air temp of 450.  a plain vanilla home oven heats up in a very inefficient way due to it's cavernous nature.  most of the heat distributes thru the walls and it radiates heat as long as the elements keep going.  home ovens SUCK at pizzamaking for this reason.

now if you stacked on steel or stone on a lower rack, and a steel on a middle rack, and hacked an oven to heat to it's cleaning cycle, that radically changes things. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 10:12:49 PM
you are obviously evading the main point of the discussion, because you are wrong.  the point was steel is a better metal to bake with, you are fighting the losing battle here championing aluminum. 


I'm not championing aluminium. I could care less. I'm simply pointing out that every time you write something about the science or physics, you are either wrong and/or completely full for crap.

BTW- are you every going to tell us what two pizzerias you run?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:14:51 PM
I'm not championing aluminium. I could care less. I'm simply pointing out that every time you write something about the science or physics, you are either wrong and/or completely full for crap.

BTW- are you every going to tell us what two pizzerias you run?

no, you go on tangents and use science and physics as an excuse when you are wrong.  typical liberal banter, when faced with an incorrect assumption and wrong, attack other person's knowledge of something, insult personally, and neglect actual discussion.  no, i'm not going to tell you what pizzerias i run, because you people are communists.  you're like that bernie sanders supporter at a trump rally.  get him out of here
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 10:47:14 PM
my point was an oven temperature of 450 does not mean ambient air temp of 450.  a plain vanilla home oven heats up in a very inefficient way due to it's cavernous nature.  most of the heat distributes thru the walls and it radiates heat as long as the elements keep going.

I certainly did not understand that to be your point but I do now.

I do not think that is true.  The average air temperature in the oven is what is being measured by the sensors.  It may be higher on the top or lower on the bottom (heat rises).  The actual temperature may vary from moment to moment.  But, when you dial 450, you get 450. 

Yes, the entire apparatus radiates heat as long as the element is going.  It also radiates heat when the element is not going.  The oven is hotter than the ambient air in the kitchen the energy will go from hotter to cooler. 

The constant loss of heat is why the oven goes on for awhile and then goes off.  The sensor on/off and the temperature +/- is only a few degrees.

Perhaps it would be more clear if you imagined relying upon a free hanging oven thermometer.  Barring calibration differences, it would read 450.  It is measuring the average temperature of the air that is coming in contact with it (air being the only that comes in contact with it except for the little hook that hangs it from the shelf)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 10:47:52 PM
What, quoting my exact words, am I wrong about?

Let's see with Arctic Pizza is wrong about:

 - Aluminum bakeware is banned in most of Europe and Canada FALSE
 - [Aluminium] is a highly volatile, soft metal, and stressed even at 500-600 degrees for years FALSE
 - [Aluminium] will break down and release hydroxide poison, leading to stomach and gastrointenstinal problems, like ulcers and colitis FALSE
 - [Aluminum] is also linked to alzheimers.  FALSE - never more than speculation and now debunked
 - bromated hi gluten flour which is a carcinogen, FALSE - not after it's baked.
 - When the elements turn off, that aluminum pan is sucking heat out of your pizza pretty effectively FALSE

no, i'm not going to tell you what pizzerias i run, because you people are communists. 

:-D You are either a liar or a coward or both. You said it thinking it would somehow make you more credible when you don't know squat, and now you to go hide under your desk. What a joke.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:49:19 PM
I certainly did not understand that to be your point but I do now.

I do not think that is true.  The average air temperature in the oven is what is being measured by the sensors.  It may be higher on the top or lower on the bottom (heat rises).  The actual temperature may vary from moment to moment.  But, when you dial 450, you get 450. 

Yes, the entire apparatus radiates heat as long as the element is going.  It also radiates heat when the element is not going.  The oven is hotter than the ambient air in the kitchen the energy will go from hotter to cooler. 

The constant loss of heat is why the oven goes on for awhile and then goes off.  The sensor on/off and the temperature +/- is only a few degrees.

Perhaps it would be more clear if you imagined relying upon a free hanging oven thermometer.  Barring calibration differences, it would read 450.  It is measuring the average temperature of the air that is coming in contact with it (air being the only that comes in contact with it except for the little hook that hangs it from the shelf)

any oven thermometer relies on a metal at it's end to measure heat.  it doesn't measure the temp of the ambient temp.  it measures the metal.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:51:50 PM
What, quoting my exact words, am I wrong about?

Let's see with Arctic Pizza is wrong about:

 - Aluminum bakeware is banned in most of Europe and Canada FALSE
 - [Aluminium] is a highly volatile, soft metal, and stressed even at 500-600 degrees for years FALSE
 - [Aluminium] will break down and release hydroxide poison, leading to stomach and gastrointenstinal problems, like ulcers and colitis FALSE
 - [Aluminum] is also linked to alzheimers.  FALSE - never more than speculation and now debunked
 - bromated hi gluten flour which is a carcinogen, FALSE - not after it's baked.
 - When the elements turn off, that aluminum pan is sucking heat out of your pizza pretty effectively FALSE

:-D You are either a liar or a coward or both. You said it thinking it would somehow make you more credible when you don't know squat, and now you to go hide under your desk. What a joke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2hULhXf04

whatever you say commie. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 10:52:10 PM
any oven thermometer relies on a metal at it's end to measure heat.  it doesn't measure the temp of the ambient temp.  it measures the metal.

Which is heated by the ...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:54:06 PM
Which is heated by the ...

"WOOOOOOOOOOOSH". right by your head.. wow, you still don't get it and concept of heat retention. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2hULhXf04
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 10:54:43 PM
Funny you call me a commie when, measured by honesty, you could easily be Hillary Clinton.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 10:55:12 PM
"WOOOOOOOOOOOSH". right by your head.. wow, you still don't get it and concept of heat retention. 

Please do explain it to me genius.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:58:11 PM
What, quoting my exact words, am I wrong about?



you champion aluminum over steel for baking efficiency, enough said.
you even said that chinese chefs would be using aluminum woks if it didn't melt.  that's one of the more irrational things i've ever read here.

ask 100 chinese chefs, 100 french chefs, 100 french bakers, and offer to replace their prized steel cookware with your "seasoned aluminum" offerings and i guarantee they'll think you're selling snakeoil.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 10:58:30 PM
any oven thermometer relies on a metal at it's end to measure heat.  it doesn't measure the temp of the ambient temp.  it measures the metal.

And the metal reaches that temperature to match the ambient temperature of the air.  Equilibrium is always sought in heat transfer.  That is why the thermometer is telling you the temperature of the "oven" - being the ambient temperature of the air in the oven.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 20, 2016, 10:59:43 PM
And the metal reaches that temperature to match the ambient temperature of the air.  Equilibrium is always sought in heat transfer.  That is why the thermometer is telling you the temperature of the "oven" - being the ambient temperature of the air in the oven.

ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 11:02:59 PM
you champion aluminum over steel for baking efficiency, enough said.

Where did I say that? Cite my exact words.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 20, 2016, 11:04:40 PM
ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.


No doubt that per unit volume, steel holds more heat than aluminium, however the difference is not as big as you make it out to be. Steel is 3X as dense, but aluminium holds 2X more heat per unit mass.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on May 20, 2016, 11:19:47 PM
ambient air temp in oven fluctuates.. so does a highly conductive metal with little heat retention.

Yes.  And a very low mass of metal (like the little piece of metal in the thermometer) coupled with a lot of ambient air temperature fluctuation will fluctuate considerably in temperature.
And a large mass of metal coupled with some ambient air temperature fluctuation will fluctuate in temperature by very little.
And a larger mass of metal coupled with larger ambient air temperature fluctuations will fluctuate in temperature by very little.
etc.

The conductivity of the metal, the amount of metal (like the size of the pan) and the temperature fluctuations (I do not think they are as large as you seem to think they are in an oven that is operating normally with the door closed, etc.) all matter.

Regarding the relative suitability of aluminum vs. steel both in direction and magnitude, I have not expressed a view because I do not have a strong one.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 21, 2016, 12:19:41 AM
  ......... because you people are communists.

Watch it there buddy. >:(  Craig is no commie.  I'M the commie baker around here......  ;D
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 21, 2016, 12:44:44 AM
The benefits of steel are very overblown. I've baked in some terrible steel pans (Paderno from Amazon is one of those terrible pans I've owned.)

The most even bake I've gotten with pans that have held up the best have been the Lloyd aluminum. Crafted far better than ANY steel pan I've ever used. Build quality is incredible, durability is incredible. They are tanks and I use, literally, hundreds of them a day in my restaurant.

The non stick coating is another issue (and something I'm not entirely sold on) but the overall build and construction is top notch. Best of the best.

The COATING is also heat safe to something like 700 degrees (without breaking down.) I think the underlying metal is even higher.

Furthermore, nearly every restaurant baking in steel has to deck the pies or parbake. Why? Because the steel prevents the bottom from cooking at the rate it should. I ALWAYS observe prince street "decking" the pizza. It's to crisp the crust because the steel can't get it crisp. I never have that problem in aluminum, and nearly always have that problem baking in standard 12x18 steel pans in a deck and a home oven.

A lot of times, places do things because that's how it's been done for a while. I don't see any reason a standard aluminum baking sheet wouldn't be able to be seasoned and used for sicilian pizza in a restaurant, and I'm willing to bet many places (L&B included) use them.

As a restuarant owner baking 100s of pizzas a day in aluminum, I will champion aluminum over steel right now and stick to it. If I could get the Lloyd pans in bare aluminum to season myself, I would. The coating sometimes gives me fits, but the aluminum pan itself destroys the blue steel pans many places were using for detroit style (the virginia company I believe that moved manufacturing to mexico.) It is also superior in quality to the new steel pans I've tried from another manufacturer in Detroit.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 21, 2016, 01:06:59 AM
hotsawce - I agree.  A few months back I bought a couple of the Lloyd Detroit pans with the PSTK finish.  I like them better than the "classic" steel Detroit pans.  I get a much better bottom bake.

Gotta stick with the Paderno Blue Steel for the al taglio.  Just because.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TonyRicci on May 21, 2016, 03:00:49 PM
Hi all, no expert here just a ( I Think ) real good home cook.    I picked up a used WELL SEASONED steel pizza pan off of eBay 12x18 for $20 something with free shiping.    Would have been happy to go with aluminum but all i could find were non-stick or already seasoned.     I really dislike non-stick.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 21, 2016, 10:01:40 PM
Some interesting results from tonight's bake.  After a complete failed bake with the new aluminum cake pan (reply #262 on page 11), I was happy to find out that I could salvage it by seasoning it.  Following Craig's and Tom Lehmann's advice, I put a very light film of flaxseed oil and baked it at 450F for 30m.  I repeated this 5 more times until I got a fairly dark pan.  I made enough dough to make 2 pan pizzas to test aluminum vs steel.   The steel pan is a Lloyd Detroit deep dish 10x8 pan.  It is thin walled and 2.25" high.  The aluminum pan is a Nordicware aluminum cake pan 12x9" and 2.5" high.  The aluminum pan feels slightly thicker and does not flex when stressed while the steel one does.

Both pies were made from the same dough batch.  I used the deep dish dough calculator and used the same numbers for each respective pan.  325gm for steel and 340gm for aluminum.  Both pies were baked at 525F in the home oven on the lowest rack.  The projected bake time was 11m.  I pulled both pies put after 7 min of baking to check their progress.  The bottom of the steel pan pizza was dark already while the aluminum pan pizza was just a light brown.  Sorry no picture of this.  I put both back in the oven for the remaining 4 min of baking.  I place the steel pan pizza on the middle rack to avoid burning and returned the aluminum pan pizza to the bottom rack.  After the bake, both bottoms were very dark with the steel being darker bordering burnt.  Didn't taste burnt but definitely looked like it. 

The steel pan transferred heat more efficiently, probably due to it's relative thinness and darker color.  Almost black versus the aluminum's darker brown color. 

Also interesting was heat retention of the pans post bake.  I tested the pans by just touching them 5 & 10m post bake.   Both pizzas were removed immediately from the pans and rested on racks to cool.  At 5m and 10m the steel pan was cooler to the touch than the aluminum pan.  Again this is likely due to the thinness of the pan.  At 5m post bake, the steel pan felt only slightly warm and could be handled without gloves while the aluminum pan was still too warm to handle comfortable.

Bottom of pizza from aluminum pan (1st pic) and steel (2nd pic).  Both pizzas are very similarly in thickness, taste, and texture.  The steel pan pizza was a bit thicker, probably due to the better heat transfer.   Perhaps with time and darkening of the aluminum pan, both bottoms will darker similarly and both pans will bake more similarly.    Sorry for the bad kitchen lightening adding a yellow tint to the first crust.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 21, 2016, 10:12:24 PM
A few thoughts.  First off I was really happy to be able to salvage this aluminum cake pan for pan pizza by seasoning it.  Tonight's bake turned out a much better pizza than the previous attempt with it unseasoned (reply #262, pg 11).  That was a disasterous bake.  Next, tonight's crust was really on point. The crumb and crust texture was really good.  Not sure if it was exactly like L&B but it was close.  Just not as thick as theirs.  But the look is there and the texture was really good.  I think theirs is a touch lighter.  I'll have to go back to a lower protein flour and test that.   Bottom was slightly too dark but that is easily fixable.  The bottom was very crunchy and stayed crunchy long after the cool down.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 22, 2016, 11:02:31 PM
great results jackie.  the crumb looks right, the undercrust is good.  A+ man!  looks awesome.



Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 22, 2016, 11:35:01 PM
Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 23, 2016, 12:31:40 AM
The difference in crumb texture is the proof. Something I learned from L&B for my pizza is the long proof makes all the difference.

They don't rely on hydration or gluten development or
Double mixing for an airy pizza. It's, honestly, a typical dough with typical ingredients but they top it and let it sit at room temp next to hot ovens for hours sometimes. The toppings are keeping the dough even while it proofs.

Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 23, 2016, 12:56:20 AM
Lou, have you been able to capture their texture? Pictures if you have.  I agree that a long and well proofed dough is necessary for lightness but it's not the only factor towards that specific texture.  You can proof dough out well all day but it isn't going to give you that super soft L&B airy crumb.  It'll just give you a well proof dough.  That texture is specifically a result of hydration (or lack of it), gluten development (i.e. mixing, dough handling, technique, etc), AND proofing.  Again if anyone is able to do it, I would like to see picture evidence at the very minimum.  Video would be better of course.  If not then it's just theory.  And theory doesn't help me eat L&B pizza.

As an example, your pan pizza is well proofed but the crumb is starkly different from L&B.  I know you aren't serving an L&B pie but I'm just making an example here.  You can well proof a 50% hydration dough versus a 70% hydrated dough and the look and textures are different.  Hydration and gluten development play vital roles.  How can they not?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 23, 2016, 11:19:15 AM
Thanks Artic Pizza.  My thickness level is off.  My slice needs to be 20% thicker I think.  Also I think there crumb is a touch lighter.  It's probably the difference in flour, so I have more testing to do.  I'll definitely try a lower protein flour like BF or even AP/BF combination.  I still haven't gotten the fat content and dry milk dialed in yet.  I know you keep saying 5-6% and maybe you are right.  But there are too many loose ends for me yet.  I still need to re experiment with both varying amounts of dry milk and fat % before I can convince myself it's one way or the other.   For now I have the approximate hydration and gluten strength down to give me a very nice and consistent crunch that holds as Lou has posted in the past.  TBH I can clearly remember their crumb texture like it was yesterday but I didn't pay close attention to their bottom crunch at the time of  the pizza tour several years ago.  I guess I will have to make another trip to NY sometime soon in the future. 

As far as L&B pans, someone should just call them and ask them if no one has done so already.  To see what they are using exactly.  Steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel, or anything else out there.  That would quickly settle the mystery I would think.

I find L&B squares are crunchy on the bottom, but not excessively so and depends on what piece you get.  The corners and ends are crunchier, the ones in the middle aren't..  They do reheat and toast well when I've taken a pie home.

Look forward to your experiment on adjusting fat and dry milk %.  Interested in how that affects the product.  I use crisco.

I'm going to Pizza Suprema today for lunch, in midtown.  They have a square similar to L&B.  Looks a similar crumb, thickness, etc.
 http://mainlinepizzaquest.blogspot.com/2015/12/review-ny-pizza-suprema-manhattan.html
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 23, 2016, 11:33:21 AM
Do take some pics please.  Always like reading reviews and seeing pictures.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 24, 2016, 12:38:57 AM
Chau,

Try a 57% to 58% hydration dough with 3% oil and 2% sugar, mix intensively, and let it proof for hours with the toppings on it. I've not tried it but I'm willing to bet this is L&Bs square. Their tight crumb is indicative of a lower hydration dough that has been mixed intensely. However, it's lightness comes from the proof. It may even be lower than 57% to 58%...but with most sheeters only having the ability to sheet dough under 60% hydration without issue (L&B uses a sheeter) I would move in that direction...

My own crumb is the result of 1) high hydration 2) long proof 3) a low intensity mix. However, to get to what I wanted I had to understand how all of those factors intertwined, and I'm relatively certain based on all my tests the above will give you something very very close to L&B.

Furthermore, at 2.75 a slice L&B isn't using any kind of additive like milk powder....you need to consider their selling price and what the quality of the ingredients could be at that price point. I know what purveyor they use from brooklyn. And nothing this purveyor sells is gourmet. It's not even Grande. And I know for a fact L&B uses their house brand of cheese and a Stanislaus prepared sauce product.

And I'm not trying to knock the slice because L&B is STILL one of my favorite squares, but it's the unique way in which they do things that makes their slice so special...not the ingredients.

Lou, have you been able to capture their texture? Pictures if you have.  I agree that a long and well proofed dough is necessary for lightness but it's not the only factor towards that specific texture.  You can proof dough out well all day but it isn't going to give you that super soft L&B airy crumb.  It'll just give you a well proof dough.  That texture is specifically a result of hydration (or lack of it), gluten development (i.e. mixing, dough handling, technique, etc), AND proofing.  Again if anyone is able to do it, I would like to see picture evidence at the very minimum.  Video would be better of course.  If not then it's just theory.  And theory doesn't help me eat L&B pizza.

As an example, your pan pizza is well proofed but the crumb is starkly different from L&B.  I know you aren't serving an L&B pie but I'm just making an example here.  You can well proof a 50% hydration dough versus a 70% hydrated dough and they look and textures are different.  Hydration and gluten development play vital roles.  How can they not?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 01:12:13 AM
Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽.  I agree on many points you just touched upon.  This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.
1) low hydration relative to the protein content of the flour.  I've been using CAFP at 60-62%.  It would be lower for AP or BF or a combination of. 56-60% is definitely in the ball park.
2) tight crumb structure is indicative of an intense mix. 
3) I've been using a fat content of 3%.  Now testing 5%.  But it's right between 3-5 depending on the flour and hydration.
4) been using 2% dry milk.  You could be right about this.  That there is no dry milk in the dough.  I will test this out as well.  It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important.  Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan.  I suspect the dough is layered.  This builds strength in the dough.  The dough is likely sheeted more than once.   
6) thick dough and high proof.  Proofing is Very important here.  Makes a BIG difference in the end texture and product.  We see this in anything made of dough.
7)I agree with you about just stanislaus tomato products.   They taste great and low cost. 
8) everything about L&B is low cost, high volume, high profits.  They cut corners where they can.  Only half the pie is cheesed.  Also high volume of dough per pie.  Very little grease in the pan.  You're basically paying for a thick slice of bread with tomato sauce on it.  Albeit one that tastes great. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 24, 2016, 02:48:32 AM
exactly my thoughts. I do feel as if the dough has a fair amount of sugar in it. The dough itself always tasted sweeter than most to me (which I think is a good thing.)

Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽.  I agree on many points you just touched upon.  This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.
1) low hydration relative to the protein content of the flour.  I've been using CAFP at 60-62%.  It would be lower for AP or BF or a combination of. 56-60% is definitely in the ball park.
2) tight crumb structure is indicative of an intense mix. 
3) I've been using a fat content of 3%.  Now testing 5%.  But it's right between 3-5 depending on the flour and hydration.
4) been using 2% dry milk.  You could be right about this.  That there is no dry milk in the dough.  I will test this out as well.  It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important.  Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan.  I suspect the dough is layered.  This builds strength in the dough.  The dough is likely sheeted more than once.   
6) thick dough and high proof.  Proofing is Very important here.  Makes a BIG difference in the end texture and product.  We see this in anything made of dough.
7)I agree with you about just stanislaus tomato products.   They taste great and low cost. 
8) everything about L&B is low cost, high volume, high profits.  They cut corners where they can.  Only half the pie is cheesed.  Also high volume of dough per pie.  Very little grease in the pan.  You're basically paying for a thick slice of bread with tomato sauce on it.  Albeit one that tastes great.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 07:36:58 AM
Both you and Artic pizza has mentioned that now.  I tried 5% in last night's dough.  Let's see how it turns out when I bake it tonight.  The only thing with a lot of sugar is the added browning so the bake temps and placement of the pan in the home oven has to be adjusted to avoid burning.   Any idea about their bake times Lou?  I'm speculating between 8-10m based on the look of the sauce post bake.  But I could be totally off on that.  If someone could time it. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on May 24, 2016, 07:46:42 AM
Are you using a dough conditioner?  I noticed a big difference in texture of the recent Sicilian I made with the fermipan 2in1 IDY overblown leftover old dough.  Crunchy, but creamy tender too.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 08:15:17 AM
Are you using a dough conditioner?  I noticed a big difference in texture of the recent Sicilian I made with the fermipan 2in1 IDY overblown leftover old dough.  Crunchy, but creamy tender too.

I bought a big container but haven't been experimenting with it, since I've been getting great results with LDMP.  I'm leaving that to be one of the last variables I will change.  I'm almost out of LDMP and hoping that I can smooth transition over to Dough Improver.  What brand are you using Reesa and what %? 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: texmex on May 24, 2016, 08:33:39 AM
Fermipan 2 in 1 IDY with conditioner...http://www.lsaf.com/products/bakers-yeast-products/dry-yeast/fermipan®-super-red-2in1

600 BF 600 AP ( flour 1200g)  780 water, 1 g fermipan IDY, 12 g molasses, 25 g salt, 32 g olive oil.  1 hour poolish, mild KA Mixing, s/f's periodically until smooth....
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 09:27:03 AM
Chau,

Try a 57% to 58% hydration dough with 3% oil and 2% sugar, mix intensively, and let it proof for hours with the toppings on it. I've not tried it but I'm willing to bet this is L&Bs square. Their tight crumb is indicative of a lower hydration dough that has been mixed intensely. However, it's lightness comes from the proof. It may even be lower than 57% to 58%...but with most sheeters only having the ability to sheet dough under 60% hydration without issue (L&B uses a sheeter) I would move in that direction...

My own crumb is the result of 1) high hydration 2) long proof 3) a low intensity mix. However, to get to what I wanted I had to understand how all of those factors intertwined, and I'm relatively certain based on all my tests the above will give you something very very close to L&B.

Furthermore, at 2.75 a slice L&B isn't using any kind of additive like milk powder....you need to consider their selling price and what the quality of the ingredients could be at that price point. I know what purveyor they use from brooklyn. And nothing this purveyor sells is gourmet. It's not even Grande. And I know for a fact L&B uses their house brand of cheese and a Stanislaus prepared sauce product.

And I'm not trying to knock the slice because L&B is STILL one of my favorite squares, but it's the unique way in which they do things that makes their slice so special...not the ingredients.

i would add that it's not simply a tighter crumb.  if anything, it isn't even like basic silician pizza dough both in texture and flavor.  it's like a dense yeast donut.  it's not a holey crumb like other places in the city, ie prince st.  i think they also slightly underbake.  it also reminds me of amish country white bread, which is made with soft lard and milk.

regarding dairy they may use whey which is dirt cheap.  milk powder has been in the discussion for cloning purposes. 

you describe it as a simple process, but the reality is nobody can replicate their square, though many have tried.. i see lots of "L&B style" squares in city and central jersey (places actually advertise it that way) and they're never right.  other attempts almost always have a drier or elastic crumb.  had an upside down square at suprema yesterday, though they look very similar, the texture is not the same.

i agree with jackie it's just a kind of thick white bread in a pan with minimal cheese and with sauce on it with a sprinkling of pecorino, but what kind of bread.  it's certainly not just a simple pizza dough with a hydration adjustment that's proofed for a long time.   not sure of your claim how simply proofing is the very thing that gets l&b their unique identity as it's so fundamentally different than others.  also, everyone proofs their sicilian doughs.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 09:36:46 AM
Quality and loaded post Lou. 👏🏽.  I agree on many points you just touched upon.  This is pretty much how I've been making my L&B clone.

4) been using 2% dry milk.  You could be right about this.  That there is no dry milk in the dough.  I will test this out as well.  It would fit their low cost model.
5) sheeter is very important.  Im use a rolling pin but not just once before it goes into the pan.  I suspect the dough is layered.  This builds strength in the dough.  The dough is likely sheeted more than once.   

2% dry milk wouldn't really affect the crumb, just affect the browning of the crust.
generally 5% dry or 25% liquid form is the minimum for it to have any influence on crumb.
2% would be the same as 0.  <25% liquid milk would just be expensive water.




Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 09:54:50 AM
2% dry milk affects it more than 0% dry milk.  Everything has some effect.  5% has a bigger effect than 2% for sure.  I've had good results with just 2% and I've played around upto 5%.  I do see the difference but there are other major factors at play here to get correct first, particularly the fat level.  I've made some really good sweet rolls with the proper L&B like crumb with just 2% dry milk.  So my gut feeling is that 2% is sufficient and potentially not necessary at all as Lou posted.  But I'll know for sure when I can do the test.   There is only so much pizza I can eat and many variables to test here.   I think we have made some great progress so far though.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 10:03:10 AM
and what's in the sauce?  it's not simply a stanislaus prepared sauce product.  could be a mix with redorta, cos it certainly doesn't taste like just saporito.  also, the sauce is not simply salt, pepper, oregano.  the sauce tastes like candy.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 10:06:55 AM
2% dry milk affects it more than 0% dry milk.  Everything has some effect.  5% has a bigger effect than 2% for sure.  I've had good results with just 2% and I've played around upto 5%.  I do see the difference but there are other major factors at play here to get correct first.   I've made some really good sweet rolls with the proper L&B like crumb with just 2% dry milk.  So my gut feeling is that 2% is sufficient and potentially not necessary at all as Lou posted.  But I'll know for sure when I can do the test.   There is only so much pizza I can eat and many variables to test here.   I think we have made some great progress so far though.

it's like a S shaped log curve.  going from 0 to 1 to 2% will do very little. you start seeing very drastic effects once at 4-5%.
it could very well be there's no dairy.  that crumb then needs to be created by other ingredients, cos it's not simply a mixing and hyrdration adjustment from what i can tell.  but you are capable of magic, so i'm looking forward to your results.  thanks for working on this.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 10:13:46 AM
and what's in the sauce?  it's not simply a stanislaus prepared sauce product.  could be a mix with redorta, cos it certainly doesn't taste like just saporito.  also, the sauce is not simply salt, pepper, oregano.  the sauce tastes like candy.

I honestly don't know.  And I will be the first to say that I'm not necessarily looking to clone L&B's square per se.  I'm a texture guy through and through.  I'd love to clone their crust though.   I'm happy with using just straight 6n1's with just a lil oregano for this pie. 

I will refer to you local guys who can do some hard research and have eaten there many times over.  But as far as the sauce goes Larry took pictures of Stanilaus box which Norma (I think) confirmed it as Saporito.  Stanilaus sauces are typically very sweet to begin with but they could be adding sugar along with potentially a SM tomato but I am guessing no.  Unless it's a cheap tomatoe they are cutting it with.  L&B strikes me as cost minded and low cost production.

They could be cutting it with another stanislaus product, I don't know.  But I wouldn't be suprised.  Honestly having eaten there only one time, my mind was so focus on the crumb texture at the time and this was 4 yrs ago.   Stanislaus products are very high quality and fairly inexpensive.  It's amazing how much the taste of some of their products can change once you cut it with water or mix it with their other products.  Saporito is thick if my memory is correct.  Cut it with water and add some oregano and more sugar if you think it needs to be sweeter.   And as we talked about likely uncooked.  L&B is simple, straight forward, low cost, high volume. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 10:22:37 AM
it's like a S shaped log curve.  going from 0 to 1 to 2% will do very little. you start seeing very drastic effects once at 4-5%.
it could very well be there's no dairy.  that crumb then needs to be created by other ingredients, cos it's not simply a mixing and hyrdration adjustment from what i can tell.  but you are capable of magic, so i'm looking forward to your results.  thanks for working on this.

You could be right about the 5% I don't know.  I'm zoning in on their texture but not exactly there yet.  Just saying I've had 2-3 pies and some sweet rolls that had that proper texture and they all had 2% dry milk.  I'm sorta leaving it at that for now while I iron out the dough handling protocol.  The strength IMO is vital how ever one wants to build it.  Either by intense mixing or S&F or sheeting, folding, re sheeting, and maybe even a few cycles of this.  It sounds like a lot but the strength and proof is a big component.  Again L&B is simple and likely no fuss tho so the process isn't likely as elaborate as what im experimenting with.  But it's a strong dough.  And at a semi low hydration, intense mixing for a home mixer is really just 7-8m in a KA mixer on speed 1.  This low hydration dough develops very quickly.  But then relaxes during fermentation, and the strength needs to be rebuilt, likely through sheeting. Again I honestly don't think it's sheeted once and into the pan but that's just my thoughts with layering dough at home.  Too many differences in the environments but dough is dough and should behave similarly from one environment to the next.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 10:29:26 AM
I honestly don't know.  And I will be the first to say that I'm not necessarily looking to clone L&B's square per se.  I'm a texture guy through and through.  If love to clone their crust.   I'm happy with using just straight 6n1's with just a lil oregano for this pie. 

I will refer to you local guys who can do some hard research and have eaten there many times over.  But as far as the sauce goes Larry took pictures of Stanilaus box which Norma (I think) confirmed it as Saporito.  Stanilaus sauces are typically very sweet to begin with but they could be adding sugar along with potentially a SM tomato but I am guessing no.  Unless it's a cheap tomatoe they are cutting it with.  L&B strikes me as cost conscious. 

They could be cutting it with another stanislaus product, I don't know.  But I wouldn't be suprised.  Honestly having eaten there only one time, my mind was so focus on the crumb texture at the time and this was 4 yrs ago.   Stanislaus products are very high quality and fairly inexpensive.  It's amazing how much the taste of some of their products can change once you cut it with water or mix it with their other products.  Saporito is thick if my memory is correct.  Cut it with water and add some oregano and more sugar if you think it needs to be sweeter.   And as we talked about likely uncooked.  L&B is simple, straight forward, low cost, high volume.

sorry i didn't put the attachment on, was asking hotsawce.  but yeah, i would say it's not just saporito.  saporito is sweet like a stereotypical cali tomato, but the l&b sauce is REALLY sweet which could also be sugar or corn syrup additive to the sauce.  reason i think it's not just saporito is there's fresher tomato flavor and texture that reminds me of SM, plum, or redorta.  also saporito is a heavy paste that needs to be watered down to use.  it's a great canned tomato product i agree, but i think there's another canned tomato puree into the mix.  you'll also see this in color.  the l&b sauce is much brighter red than saporito alone. 

i think the sauce is a crucial component of their square.  like you said, it's minimal amounts of mozzerella reallly only there to get that gumline, and then pecorino.  so this is really more of a pie about the tomato and bread.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 10:35:45 AM
You could be right about the 5% I don't know.  I'm zoning in on their texture but not exactly there yet.  Just saying I've had 2-3 pies and some sweet rolls that had that proper texture and they all had 2% dry milk.  I'm sorta leaving it at that for now while I iron out the dough handling protocol.  The strength IMO is vital how ever one wants to build it.  Either by intense mixing or S&F or sheeting, fold, re sheeting, and maybe even a few cycles of this.  It sounds like a lot but the strength and proof is a big component.  Again L&B is simple and likely no fuss tho so the process isn't likely as elaborate as what im experimenting with.  But it's a strong dough.  And at a semi low hydration, intense mixing for a home mixer is really just 7-8m in a KA mixer on speed 1.  This low hydration dough develops very quickly.  But then relaxes during fermentation, and the strength needs to be rebuilt, likely through sheeting. Again I honestly don't think it's sheeted once and into the pan but that's just my thoughts with layering dough at home.  Too many differences in the environments but dough is dough and should behave similarly from one environment to the next.

you should really try it again next time in nyc.  but i understand you're not necessarily trying to clone l&b, perfectly.  also there's something called memory bias.. you may actually have a style of crumb and crust you desire when making your sicilian squares and end up with a result that isn't l&b.  there's nothing strong about the dough in the numerous times i've eaten there.  little kids tear into it and eat it like white bread.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 10:38:17 AM
In one video, I think it was the owner?? that said they use SM tomatoes.  So they maybe cutting with a SM that they can get at a decent price.  He totally left out the fact that they use Saporito so I don't trust what he is saying 100%.  If he would have said we use a mix of SM tomatoes and California tomatoes then that would indicate a more truthful statement.  He doesn't have to say exactly what Stanilaus product, but just that they use California tomatoes with a wink would have been enough.  The fact that he left that out makes me question the use of SM altogether.   I think its an advertising thing.  Ppl like the way SM rolls off the tongue and gives the customers this sense that they are using the best ingredients available, when in fact it could be the opposite of that.  lol 

I would agree that the sweet flavor of the sauce and/or crust with the airy texture of the crumb is what sets it apart from other squares and makes their pie.  What is impressive to me is that soft texture without the pie tasting gummy.  Apparently some folks are getting some gummy squares.  Even in pictures, a lot of their whole cut pies look gummy, dense, and heavy.  But the actual texture as we know is anything but that.  That's the impressive part for me.  That you can eat 3 squares and not feel bloated or heavy. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 24, 2016, 10:38:54 AM
We're also forgetting that L&B almost certainly uses the same dough for round pies, and their round slices do not have a texture indicative of a dairy additive.

Someone should try

F (100) All Trumps
W (55)
Oil (3)
Salt (2)
Sugar (5)
IDY (a good amount)

Mix intensely. Roll out into very lightly oiled sheet tray. Proof fully topped 3-5 hours in warm place.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Arctic Pizza on May 24, 2016, 10:57:24 AM
In one video, I think it was the owner?? that said they use SM tomatoes.  So they maybe cutting with a SM that they can get at a decent price.  He totally left out the fact that they use Saporito so I don't trust what he is saying 100%.  If he would have said we use a mix of SM tomatoes and California tomatoes then that would indicate a more truthful statement.  He does have to say exactly what Stanilaus product, but just that they use California tomatoes with a wink would have been enough.  The fact that he left that out makes me question the use of SM altogether.   I think its an advertising thing.  Ppl like the way SM rolls off the tongue and gives the customers this sense that they are using the best ingredients available, when in fact it could be the opposite of that.  lol 

I would agree that the sweet flavor of the sauce and/or crust with the airy texture of the crumb is what sets it apart from other squares and makes their pie.  What is impressive to me is that soft texture without the pie tasting gummy.  Apparently some folks are getting some gummy squares.  Even in pictures, a lot of their whole cut pies look gummy, dense, and heavy.  But the actual texture as we know is anything but that.  That's the impressive part for me.  That you can eat 3 squares and not feel bloated or heavy.

just watched that aol video someone posted here.  at 12:15 http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-make-classic-pizza-241278573.

he says a spanish san marzano and a cali tomato.  which is consistent to my theory.  redorta is a mexican SM.  they are huge plums, very little water.  saporito is from modesto, california.

i think you will get a gummy pie on a bad day and/or traveling long distances with it and left in the box too long.  the steam collapses the crumb.  fresh out of the pan by slice, you shouldn't have any issues with that.

yeah i can eat 3 easy no problem.  they go down much easier than normal slices.  looks can be deceiving, which is why i don't trust pictures only.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 24, 2016, 12:30:41 PM
We're also forgetting that L&B almost certainly uses the same dough for round pies, and their round slices do not have a texture indicative of a dairy additive.

Someone should try

F (100) All Trumps
W (55)
Oil (3)
Salt (2)
Sugar (5)
IDY (a good amount)

Mix intensely. Roll out into very lightly oiled sheet tray. Proof fully topped 3-5 hours in warm place.

I think that's too low for AT's.  It's been years though since I've used AT's.  Last i remember its quite a thirsty flour...For AT's I might shoot for the minimum of 60% hydration and even a few more points.   But yeah someone try it and let us know.   ^^^

I use a solid fat like crisco, butter, or coconut oil in the dough and going from 3 to 5%.  Might be different for oil so 3% is a good place to start. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 24, 2016, 02:58:44 PM
L&B uses campagna and sons in brooklyn for their pizza stuff. Margherita brand mozzarella. Stanislaus products. GM flour.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 25, 2016, 12:53:10 AM
Tonight's bake was a combination of success and failure.  The fail part of the bake is that for some weird reason, the whole dough formed a HUGE bubble under the crust pushing the entire pizza to balloon up as it baked.  This pushed the sauce over the edge spilling into the oven and creating a smoky mess.  By the time I discovered this, I was already 9m into a 12min bake.  I let it finished baking and got a few crumb shots.   This is by far the closest to L&B's texture I've gotten.  I'm pretty sure I am there. 

A few thoughts.  IMO, It's not the dry milk that's responsible for the unique texture.  It's the increased fat content.  I used 2% dry milk in this formulation but will leave it out for the next bake to see the difference.  Definitely keeping the crisco at 5%.  I also used 4% sugar in the dough which gave it a slight sweetness.  Also for this dough I used 50/50 AP flour and HG.  So a flour more in line with a BF which I liked better than HG flour alone. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 26, 2016, 01:30:06 AM
L&B probably uses a good amount of oil and a standard GM bread flour. Looks pretty close  :drool: especially the bottom crust. That drier, not oily but still sturdy deep golden brown
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 26, 2016, 11:35:27 AM
Can someone take a few pics of their bottom crust next time you eat there?  I'd like to see what it looks like.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 26, 2016, 11:43:56 AM
Can someone take a few pics of their bottom crust next time you eat there?  I'd like to see what it looks like.

Chau,

At Reply 6 is where I posted one photo of the bottom crust. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=39324.msg392932#msg392932  I think there are some other photos on the other thread when we went on the pizza crawl with you.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 26, 2016, 12:29:58 PM
Thank you very much Norma.  👍🏼
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 26, 2016, 12:41:21 PM
Chau,

The other photos that were taken by me at L&B start at Reply 247 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17885.msg175826#msg175826 There is a photo of the bottom crust on the next page.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: unclemilford on July 27, 2016, 12:58:42 PM
This is awesome,

I just ate a slice. I am new to bread making so I am going to explain with very basic terms. There are no bubbles in the crust. It is like pretzel dough and very light. You can eat 4 pieces of L&B and not feel like you overdone it. It has a lemon taste or citrus taste to the crust, almost like spoiled milk gone right. I would love it if someone, after all of these posts, would post crust ingredients they believe are close. The sauce is relatively easy, the crust is very difficult. All of that said, best post I've seen on pizza making (taught me a lot) and you guys did amazing jobs creating great tasting pies. Thank you all! Hope that helps.

RC
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on September 30, 2016, 01:43:24 PM
This is awesome,

I just ate a slice. I am new to bread making so I am going to explain with very basic terms. There are no bubbles in the crust. It is like pretzel dough and very light. You can eat 4 pieces of L&B and not feel like you overdone it. It has a lemon taste or citrus taste to the crust, almost like spoiled milk gone right. I would love it if someone, after all of these posts, would post crust ingredients they believe are close. The sauce is relatively easy, the crust is very difficult. All of that said, best post I've seen on pizza making (taught me a lot) and you guys did amazing jobs creating great tasting pies. Thank you all! Hope that helps.

RC

That "citrus" taste in the crust could be whey, the leftover liquid after separating the curds from milk when making cheese.  In a dough fermentation lactose in the whey would convert to lactic acid and produce a sour flavor or could be whey with citric acid added during the curd separation.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on September 30, 2016, 01:47:07 PM
Also, i don't remember where i saw a clip of them loading a dough mixer, but i remember the dough having greenish hue when first adding the liquids.  It could very well be acid whey which is yellowish green. 

After a thorough mix, the color dilutes to the overall pale flour color of dough.


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on October 24, 2016, 03:15:20 PM
We're also forgetting that L&B almost certainly uses the same dough for round pies, and their round slices do not have a texture indicative of a dairy additive.

Someone should try

F (100) All Trumps
W (55)
Oil (3)
Salt (2)
Sugar (5)
IDY (a good amount)

Mix intensely. Roll out into very lightly oiled sheet tray. Proof fully topped 3-5 hours in warm place.

For anyone who's interested, I tried the round NY pie at L&B Spumoni this past weekend.  It certainly doesn't taste like a normal NY crust.  I agree it's most likely the same dough as their square.  The crust on the round pie was like..... bread, for lack of a better word.  The texture of a thin restaurant breadstick.

Having read this thread, I would disagree with several theories.  For one, L&B square is not light and airy.  It is dense and soft like the texture one gets from gently squishing white wonder bread and eating it as a ball but it is very easy to eat.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 25, 2016, 03:56:54 PM
It's not dense.  Dense signifies heavy.  It's anything but heavy.  It's only "dense" in appearance as the crumb
Structure is tight and the slice looks thick.  But the texture is soft.  It's easy to eat and feels light in the stomach.  It's not chewy either.  Its very similar to a soft and light dinner roll or bread.  So no it's not dense at all.   I wouldn't use the word dense to discribe it.  I'm not sure it's airy, but it's definitely light.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on October 25, 2016, 04:49:58 PM
It's not dense.  Dense signifies heavy.  It's anything but heavy.  It's only "dense" in appearance as the crumb
Structure is tight and the slice looks thick.  But the texture is soft.  It's easy to eat and feels light in the stomach.  It's not chewy either.  Its very similar to a soft and light dinner roll or bread.  So no it's not dense at all.   I wouldn't use the word dense to discribe it.  I'm not sure it's airy, but it's definitely light.

Dense doesn't have to be heavy when referring to crumb structure.  It just means the crumb holes are tight. 
Similarly, airy doesn't necessarily imply light as a sicilian at Prince St. is airy and larger airy crumb structure but it is actually heavier than L&B.  Whatever crumb structure you see on an L&B slice is completely obliterated upon biting, and all you see is what looks like a big gumline from the marks made by one's teeth.

I agree it is soft, but it isn't like white dinner rolls either and it certainly isn't just white bread with tomato sauce as some have mentioned.   It's more like dessert, almost like a soft cake bownie but not and doesn't reside within any NY pizza dough traditions.  It's completely unique to itself.  Also, from a historical point of view, L&B Spumoni did not originate as a pizzeria, it was an ice cream shop which also sold Italian desserts.  They added the square mid 20th century through a recipe taken from an Italian pastry and dessert shop and comes from that ethos. 





Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on October 25, 2016, 05:35:23 PM
Harry, perhaps we are using different words to describe the same thing here.  It sounds like there is a consensus that the crust is unique, the crumb is tight, and the slice is very easy to eat.  I would agree that it is soft and almost cake like but again there's light cakes like sponge cakes and then heavier and dense cakes.  To me the crumb is very light in texture and not chewy at all.  Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to the bottom crust.   Can you tell me if it's crunchy at all? If so does it remain crunchy as the slices cool or does the bottom crust soften up?   

TIA
Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on October 25, 2016, 05:58:21 PM
Harry, perhaps we are using different words to describe the same thing here.  It sounds like there is a consensus that the crust is unique, the crumb is tight, and the slice is very easy to eat.  I would agree that it is soft and almost cake like but again there's light cakes like sponge cakes and then heavier and dense cakes.  To me the crumb is very light in texture and not chewy at all.  Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to the bottom crust.   Can you tell me if it's crunchy at all? If so does it remain crunchy as the slices cool or does the bottom crust soften up?   

TIA
Chau

My niece refers to L&B as Pizza cake.  It's surely not a light sponge cake, but almost like if a denser, moist cake with alot of fat and a bread had a child.   And dense cakes are easy to eat as long as it's moist, the L&B crumb is moist and soft.  There is no chew, it is a really weak gluten that balances the line between bread and dessert item.  To reverse engineer their dough, might have to really think outside the box.  It is positively thin crunch on the bottom.  It stays crunchy, doesn't get soggy.

Attached are some photos.   The crumb on the side looks like bread but it's quite different after one bites into it.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: invertedisdead on October 26, 2016, 01:05:22 AM
Cakey = lots of butter? Cake flour?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: invertedisdead on November 07, 2016, 07:32:48 PM
Do you think this place still follows an original recipe or do you think it's been modified to reduce costs?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on November 07, 2016, 08:01:53 PM
In season 16, episode 14 - Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen gives a recipe for Thick Crust Sicilian Pizza.

At the beginning of the show, they visit L&B Spumoni Gardens and, at least in theory, the ATK pizza is modeled on the L&B.

I mention this because I noticed that in the last few messages, there is mention of the cake like crumb, etc.  In "Why this recipe works", the Cooks Illustrated people say:

"In order to create a Sicilian pie with a creamy, golden interior and a delicate, crisp bottom, we use a mixture of semolina and all-purpose flours. To give it a fine-textured, almost cake-like crumb, we use a three-pronged approach. We use a generous amount of olive oil in the dough to tenderize it, we cold-ferment the dough overnight to let flavors develop without large bubbles forming, and then we roll it out and weigh it down with another baking sheet during the final proof to keep the crumb even and tight.
"

I have made this recipe and found it to be an excellent pizza.  I have no idea if it is similar or not to L&B.  FWIW, here is the recipe:
https://www.kcet.org/food/weekend-recipe-thick-crust-sicilian-style-pizza

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Pete-zza on November 07, 2016, 08:30:02 PM
I have made this recipe and found it to be an excellent pizza.  I have no idea if it is similar or not to L&B.  FWIW, here is the recipe:
https://www.kcet.org/food/weekend-recipe-thick-crust-sicilian-style-pizza
Mitch,

That is the recipe I converted to baker's percents at Reply 41 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45359.msg454606#msg454606

Norma eventually tried the recipe but using General Mills self-rising flour and Caputo semola flour, and reported on her results starting at Reply 82 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45359.msg455132#msg455132

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on November 07, 2016, 08:36:00 PM
Mitch,

That is the recipe I converted to baker's percents at Reply 41 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45359.msg454606#msg454606

Norma eventually tried the recipe but using General Mills self-rising flour and Caputo semola flour, and reported on her results starting at Reply 82 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45359.msg455132#msg455132

Peter

Peter,

Of course I didn't use the right flour and also didn't use the right amount of semolina.  Maybe another member will try your baker percents version.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: mitchjg on November 07, 2016, 08:37:36 PM
Thanks Peter.  Here is a thread focussed on this recipe: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=42903.0

I reported my results within the thread (very happy with it!).  I posted several pics there.  Here are a couple:




Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on November 30, 2016, 10:02:15 PM
While looking for something else about another pizzeria I found what an article said about L&B's pizzas.  It says the thick crust is pulled out of the oven just shy of being fully cooked through, so the bottom layer is slightly springy in the middle with lightly browned edges.

Maybe that is why I thought the one time I visited L&B Spumoni Gardens that there was a gum line.  I think it would be trickly to know exactly when to pull the pie out of the oven to achieve that slightly springy middle that is just shy of being fully cooked.

Look under photo #2 to see what is said.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/photos/best-pizza-restaurants-new-york-city.html

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on December 07, 2016, 11:32:18 PM
While looking for something else about another pizzeria I found what an article said about L&B's pizzas.  It says the thick crust is pulled out of the oven just shy of being fully cooked through, so the bottom layer is slightly springy in the middle with lightly browned edges.

Maybe that is why I thought the one time I visited L&B Spumoni Gardens that there was a gum line.  I think it would be trickly to know exactly when to pull the pie out of the oven to achieve that slightly springy middle that is just shy of being fully cooked.

Look under photo #2 to see what is said.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/photos/best-pizza-restaurants-new-york-city.html

Norma

To continue on this thread, I believe L&B underbakes their innards while getting browning on the exteriors.   The crumb is undercooked basically.   This most likely has something to do with a 650 degree bake with stacked dough.  5lb of dough per sheet tray is alot.  Most likely a different flour than most NY pizzerias.  Also the round L&B pies tastes like bread, like bread, not pizza.  A history on siclian squares, they originated so I hear within selling hi gluten round pies, but made by the Sicilians cos they preferred it over the round ones that sold alot more than the square ones.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: nfeldbaum on December 19, 2016, 01:20:30 AM
Hello,

Am new to this board, and am hoping to recreate the L&B pizza. Is there a post I should look at detailing the best-to-date imitation?

Thank you!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hammettjr on December 21, 2016, 05:42:17 PM
To continue on this thread, I believe L&B underbakes their innards while getting browning on the exteriors.   The crumb is undercooked basically...

I had my first L&B experience today. The pies were likely influenced by the situation.  My office had several dozen pies delivered from Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan, arriving around 1130am.

It seemed like atleast 60% of the dough (more than the top half) was gummy.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on December 21, 2016, 07:17:57 PM
I had my first L&B experience today. The pies were likely influenced by the situation.  My office had several dozen pies delivered from Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan, arriving around 1130am.

It seemed like atleast 60% of the dough (more than the top half) was gummy.

A delivery from L&B and to midtown will probably take 45 minutes or more and they don't travel too well, but that first pic is pretty spot on. 

Question, what are you peeling there in the second pic?  is that dough or cheese?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hammettjr on December 21, 2016, 07:28:02 PM
A delivery from L&B and to midtown will probably take 45 minutes or more and they don't travel too well, but that first pic is pretty spot on. 

Question, what are you peeling there in the second pic?  is that dough or cheese?

I'm peeling off the cheese to show the dough. The top part of the pic is cheese, the bottom is dough.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: vtsteve on December 21, 2016, 10:57:56 PM
It seemed like atleast 60% of the dough (more than the top half) was gummy.

Nasty looking!   :o
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: invertedisdead on December 22, 2016, 09:47:41 AM
I take it you weren't blown away?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on December 22, 2016, 10:00:59 AM
I take it you weren't blown away?

I wasn't, and my pizza there was pretty good.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hammettjr on December 22, 2016, 09:53:23 PM
I take it you weren't blown away?

Nope. Did have pretty good flavor, but the texture was rough.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on January 14, 2017, 09:46:42 PM
Another photo to show what looks like the crumb isn't baked very much.

Norma
Title: L&B Spumoni but not L&B Spumoni
Post by: PapaLous on April 12, 2017, 02:49:00 PM
Hey All,

I wonder if you could be so kind as to answer a question if possible? Does anyone know the name of the pizzeria described below?

Years ago (circa 2003) a friend took me to a "famous, been around for decades, 1/2 of the customers are mobsters, it's gotta be the NY water, everyone loves it" -type place that serves Sicilian- and NY-style pizza.

I would think that it had to be nearish to L&B, but maybe not. The things I remember, other than the pizza: 1) It was across the street from the water, 2) the parking lot was in front, between the building and the road, and 3) there were a number of homes nearby that were just garish beyond belief. Statues, lawn decorations, the whole works. It was enough that I expected to start seeing frescos on the exterior walls.

Does anyone have any thoughts on which place it may be? Or, if it still even exists?

Thanks, in advance!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: PapaLous on April 14, 2017, 01:21:24 PM
Well, after going through this entire thread, I have a sneaking suspicion that my memory is failing me, and that I ~was~ at L&B. I remembered enjoying it quite a bit, but beyond that, I couldn't comment on it here. Of course, if anyone thinks of another place, please mention it.

Is there a formula in this thread that gets the consensus as the closest clone? As I've said elsewhere, I don't want the best for the sake of being the most authentic, but I would rather tweak from the closest formula that works for the home kitchen. On a whim, I did order a Detroit-style, 10"x14" pan from that Detroit Pizza place (thanks for the link Norma!) so I'll be working in that, if just for the fun of it.

Thoughts anyone?

Thank you all for the hard work you've done in this, and other, threads. It is greatly appreciated!

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on April 28, 2017, 02:06:00 PM
I know, in some pictures, L&B looks undercooked but every time I've had their slices/pie and it's been perfectly baked. It's also the style of pizza I have the most difficulty replicating.

For how dense and cake-like the crumb looks, I have no trouble putting away 3 or 4 slices. I have no idea how they keep the crumb structure so tight, yet easy to eat. I'm guessing the bake is probably relatively low and slow on a well proofed skin, keeping the oven spring minimal but airy from the proofing.

Another photo to show what looks like the crumb isn't baked very much.

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on April 28, 2017, 04:51:54 PM
I know, in some pictures, L&B looks undercooked but every time I've had their slices/pie and it's been perfectly baked. It's also the style of pizza I have the most difficulty replicating.

For how dense and cake-like the crumb looks, I have no trouble putting away 3 or 4 slices. I have no idea how they keep the crumb structure so tight, yet easy to eat. I'm guessing the bake is probably relatively low and slow on a well proofed skin, keeping the oven spring minimal but airy from the proofing.

I'm fairly certain it's just a ton of fat (oil/lard, etc) plus a few other things.  We're talking fat upwards of 25%+ flour weight and why that texture is so.  It hasn't been replicated here probably because that seems like a grotesque amount of fat, but isn't within context of Italian bakery and dessert preparations where the L&B square originated.  (L&B wasn't a pizzeria when it originally opened). 



Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on April 28, 2017, 08:16:04 PM
It doesn't have to be high as 25% fat.  I've gotten very close to their texture with around 8-10% fat. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on April 28, 2017, 09:53:52 PM
It doesn't have to be high as 25% fat.  I've gotten very close to their texture with around 8-10% fat.

My sicilian is around the 10% zone, but L&B goes the distance. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on April 30, 2017, 07:31:53 PM
I don't think there's that much fat in the dough....particularly with slices as cheap as they are....fat in pizza dough is expensive.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: invertedisdead on May 01, 2017, 01:39:40 AM
I don't think there's that much fat in the dough....particularly with slices as cheap as they are....fat in pizza dough is expensive.

Soybean oil?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 01, 2017, 09:48:47 AM
Fat is cheap.  35lb box of liquid shortening, canola or soya bean oil is $15.  That's a penny a square. 

L&B square pie is sliced with a flimsy kitchen filet knife, not a pizza cutter.  Cuts right through like butter if you can visualize that, it relates to the texture.  It bites into a monster gumline.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 01, 2017, 10:28:22 AM
Harry.  What kind of flour do you think they work with?  And do you think the dough is the same dough used for their slice pies?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 01, 2017, 10:58:55 AM
Harry.  What kind of flour do you think they work with?  And do you think the dough is the same dough used for their slice pies?


I think so.  Their slices are soft like bread.  Not sure about the flour but my guess is it's not high gluten.




Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 01, 2017, 11:21:29 AM

I think so.  Their slices are soft like bread.  Not sure about the flour but my guess is it's not high gluten.

That's what I was thinking.  Maybe AP, possibly BF.  Can you confirm how crispy their squares are?  Either initially or after they cool down?  Members are saying its crispy but that's not making sense to me.  Especially how soft the crumb is in texture and how gummy it looks sliced.   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 01, 2017, 11:39:50 AM
I agree with you about the bake times and temp.  No way it's 600F.  I'll bet it's less than 500.  I've been extending my bakes northwards of 20min with great results.  I've gotten close with HG flour but the bottom was crispy and crunchy, which I do like.  I'll have to try it with a weaker flour. 

And two more points if I may.  The dough or crust by itself is a bit sweet?  Any guesses on the sugar level?  And how about the use of (dry) milk or whey in their dough? I've been between 4-6% dry milk but unsure of how important it really is.   

Chau
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 01, 2017, 11:53:27 AM
I agree with you about the bake times and temp.  No way it's 600F.  I'll bet it's less than 500.  I've been extending my bakes northwards of 20min with great results.  I've gotten close with HG flour but the bottom was crispy and crunchy, which I do like.  I'll have to try it with a weaker flour. 

And two more points if I may.  The dough or crust by itself is a bit sweet?  Any guesses on the sugar level?  And how about the use of (dry) milk or whey in their dough? I've been between 4-6% dry milk but unsure of how important it really is.   

Chau

There is most likely sugar in the dough, if you take a look at the rim, they bake like it does, they brown and blacken.  But I do not taste a noticeable sweetness as you would a sweet dessert.

I would not be surprised if there were dairy in it and also wouldn't be surprised if they used something like whey instead of water.  The crust has a slight acidic flavor to it.


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 02, 2017, 12:58:06 AM
Tonight's rendition.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HBolte on May 02, 2017, 09:38:49 AM
I just had it a few weeks ago. That looks spot on Chau.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 02, 2017, 10:21:45 AM
Tonight's rendition.

Looks good Chau. :chef:

The renewed discussion here inspired me to give it another try yesterday too.  Mine wasn't as successful as yours!  All the talk of oil, dry milk powder and the tight crumb led me to try a basic pullman loaf recipe.  It had milk (25%), water (40%), non-fat milk powder (6%), sugar (2%) and the butter was replaced with oil (10%)/water.

I started the pan on the steel like I often do and the bottom got, to put it politely, got a bit overdone. :o  Must have been all that milk........
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 02, 2017, 10:27:08 AM
Your crumb and TF looks spot on Paul.  How was the texture?  I think going off of the Pullman recipe and method is a great idea. 

Also what temp did you bake it at? I've had issues with burning as well.  There's an easy fix for that.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 02, 2017, 10:38:07 AM
How was the texture?

Other than the "crunchy" bottom, the texture was pretty soft.  Like white bread.

Also what temp did you bake it at?

500F.  As a noted above, I often start square pies on the steel for a few minutes to try and get some additional spring.  Next time I'll lower the temp. and start it on the stone.

TF was 0.15. 1% IDY.  Mixed in food processor.  Rise 'till about double, 1.5 hours or so.  Into Crisco'd pan, the another two hour rise.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 02, 2017, 01:19:56 PM
I use to get a really dark to borderline burnt bottom baking at 500F and one up from the bottom rack.   Now I bake at 425F and middle of the oven for 20m.   Give that a try next time.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 02, 2017, 07:08:02 PM
I use to get a really dark to borderline burnt bottom baking at 500F and one up from the bottom rack.   Now I bake at 425F and middle of the oven for 20m.   Give that a try next time.

On the stone?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 02, 2017, 07:33:35 PM
No stone or steel plate. Just directly on the rack. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 02, 2017, 07:36:18 PM
I just had it a few weeks ago. That looks spot on Chau.

Very cool Hans.  It certainly passed the taste test for me.  I think I've read that you weren't really crazy about L&B.  Have you had a chance to try it again? 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HBolte on May 02, 2017, 09:55:19 PM
Very cool Hans.  It certainly passed the taste test for me.  I think I've read that you weren't really crazy about L&B.  Have you had a chance to try it again?

You're correct, not really my style. The flavor is good but just to soft/bready for me. I'll definitely try it again though to be fair. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 02, 2017, 10:50:09 PM
I use to get a really dark to borderline burnt bottom baking at 500F and one up from the bottom rack.   Now I bake at 425F and middle of the oven for 20m.   Give that a try next time.

No stone or Steele plate. Just directly on the rack.

One important observation I've made is that the innards are almost undercooked and shake a square, they wiggle.

Also they use a custom deck with a stone set in the middle of the 7-8" baking cavity which most likely diffuses heat in the upper chamber.  First half of bake is on the top stone.  Then moved to lower stone where temp is likely higher to finish bottoms.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 02, 2017, 10:57:22 PM
Does anyone have the link to the video that shows their dough coming out of the sheeter?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 03, 2017, 06:59:53 AM
One important observation I've made is that the innards are almost undercooked and shake a square, they wiggle.

Also they use a custom deck with a stone set in the middle of the 7-8" baking cavity which most likely diffuses heat in the upper chamber.  First half of bake is on the top stone.  Then moved to lower stone where temp is likely higher to finish bottoms.

Interesting you mention the wiggle. These last few pies I've been noticing they jiggle out of the oven.  I was thinking they probably introduced the 2nd deck so that they can bake twice as many pies in the same amount of time, since their bake times are already extended as is.  If you look at their bottoms, you can see where baking on the middle deck creates light bottoms, creating the need to finish them on the bottom deck to stiffen them up again.  Their baking protocol is likely born out of the neccisity to bake a higher volume of pies rather than specific conditions required for their unique pies.

Pics courtesy of Norma.  Thank you Norma.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 03, 2017, 07:30:50 AM
Does anyone have the link to the video that shows their dough coming out of the sheeter?

Craig,

Is this the video?

https://vimeo.com/7558084

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 03, 2017, 07:38:07 AM
Another video to show what Harry calls a wiggly crumb, which I originally thought was a crumb that wasn't baked enough.

http://www.travelchannel.com/videos/extra-serving-brooklyn-pizza-0150704


Norma

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 03, 2017, 07:55:18 AM

Another video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3HIQFf3HKI
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 03, 2017, 09:05:53 AM
Craig,

Is this the video?

https://vimeo.com/7558084

Norma

Yes. That's it. Thank you.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 03, 2017, 11:20:40 AM
Interesting you mention the wiggle. These last few pies I've been noticing they jiggle out of the oven.  I was thinking they probably introduced the 2nd deck so that they can bake twice as many pies in the same amount of time, since their bake times are already extended as is.  If you look at their bottoms, you can see where baking on the middle deck creates light bottoms, creating the need to finish them on the bottom deck to stiffen them up again.  Their baking protocol is likely born out of the neccisity to bake a higher volume of pies rather than specific conditions required for their unique pies.


Not sure it's a very long bake.  I am thinking it's around 10 minutes at 450-500, there is a quite a bit of tomato sauce therefore alot of steam action in the bake in a narrow 4" chamber which also contributes to the crumb quality.  You can also see in picture below that the grated romano cheese on top isn't overcooked and the tomatoes remain quite wet.  The key is to not overbake these, the innards should be real moist, almost undercooked as mentioned before, not a dry crumb.  Finished on bottom stone for few minutes, something could be replicated at home by first baking on stone on middle rack and then finished on lower rack near elements to finish and develop the dry bottom veneer (still in pan).  The beauty of this pizza is the contrast of the slightly crunchy bottom and the soft center.  I may try one soon with oil around 15-20%, all purpose flour. 55% hydration (maybe lower with that much oil),  0.2TF, 4 hour RTF, stretched and pressed into lightly greased pan and 30 minute proof. 

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 03, 2017, 11:38:39 AM
I've thought the same about how fresh and wet the sauce and grated cheese look as an indication to the relative quick bake time but keep in mind the quicker the bake time the less crispy the bottom will be.  Even when I've overbaked one (23min), the top jiggles a bit out the oven.  It could just be the sauce though that's jiggling.    Do post pics when you do your test bake.  I've had success with BF, but will try AP next to see the difference.

If not mentioned already, the crumb usually looks wet and unbaked when they are first cut.   Upon sitting though the crumb seems to firm up a bit and has a more defined crumb structure. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 03, 2017, 11:44:29 AM
I've thought the same about how fresh and wet the sauce and grated cheese look as an indication to the relative quick bake time but keep in mind the quicker the bake time the less crispy the bottom will be.  Do post pics when you do your test bake. 

If not mentioned already, the crumb usually looks wet and unbaked when they are first cut.   Upon sitting though the crumb seems to firm up a bit and has a more defined crumb structure.

That's what the higher oil in the dough will do also while finishing on the hotter bottom stone in their ovens, this finishes the bottoms.  Also it's important not to over oil your pan.  The bottom feels dry after it's baked.


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 03, 2017, 11:45:18 AM
If not mentioned already, the crumb usually looks wet and unbaked when they are first cut.   Upon sitting though the crumb seems to firm up a bit and has a more defined crumb structure.

L&B is the opposite.  They need to be eaten soon, and they don't travel well.  After 30 min-1 hour they'll collapse into a pronounced gumline.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 03, 2017, 11:50:46 AM
That's what the higher oil in the dough will do also while finishing on the hotter bottom stone in their ovens, this finishes the bottoms.  Also it's important not to over oil your pan.  The bottom feels dry after it's baked.

Ahhh this gives me an idea.  I can definitely finish the pie (in the pan) directly on the bottom of my oven.  It's definitely hot enough to crisp up the bottom very quickly.  You may have just saved me about 5min of baking time!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 03, 2017, 12:03:35 PM
L&B is the opposite.  They need to be eaten soon, and they don't travel well.  After 30 min-1 hour they'll collapse into a pronounced gumline.

I've noticed a few pics where the cross section looks like just a thick gum line all the way across. I always assumed these pics were taken right after the pie just came out the oven rather than post collapse.   Do their pies always collapse after sitting? Can anyone else confirm this? 

In my own pies I've noticed wet gummy looking crumb if cut right out of the oven.  Crumb dries and becomes more defined as it sits for a bit.  Never further total collapse after 30m - 1hr.  They also don't collapse the next day as leftovers either.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 03, 2017, 01:17:36 PM
The crust has a slight acidic flavor to it.

Chau, or anyone else who has tried this pie,

Did you notice a tang to the dough?  Maybe I'll try powdered butter milk, I've got some laying about.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hammettjr on May 03, 2017, 07:29:16 PM
I've noticed a few pics where the cross section looks like just a thick gum line all the way across. I always assumed these pics were taken right after the pie just came out the oven rather than post collapse.   Do their pies always collapse after sitting? Can anyone else confirm this? 
...

I've only had L&B once, so all I can confirm is that in my case, the pie sat for a long time while the very large order was delivered to midtown Manhattan, and the result was more than half the thickness of the crust being gum. Pics at reply 386

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17168.msg461687#msg461687
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: PapaLous on May 04, 2017, 06:48:18 PM
Thank you all for the hard work you've done in this, and other, threads. It is greatly appreciated!

Glad to see you guys tackling this again!

Thank you!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 05, 2017, 08:45:49 PM
Well I gave it another shot.  Same recipe as above, but without the sugar.  Baked in an 11 x 15 Paderno blue steel pan at 425 in the middle of the oven for about 15 min.  No stone or steel.  The texture was beyond bread, more like cake and oddly non-filling.

Not sure why I became interested in this pie again.  It certainly isn't a favorite of mine these days. :o
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: Jackie Tran on May 05, 2017, 08:53:45 PM
Not sure why I became interested in this pie again.  It certainly isn't a favorite of mine these days. :o

That's pretty much L&B for ya.   Sounds like you got the texture right.  I'd say their bottoms are stiffer but it's definitely light like cake and non-filling.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: norma427 on May 05, 2017, 09:39:53 PM
Well I gave it another shot.  Same recipe as above, but without the sugar.  Baked in an 11 x 15 Paderno blue steel pan at 425 in the middle of the oven for about 15 min.  No stone or steel.  The texture was beyond bread, more like cake and oddly non-filling.

Not sure why I became interested in this pie again.  It certainly isn't a favorite of mine these days. :o

Nice Paul!

Norma
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: parallei on May 05, 2017, 10:45:22 PM
Thanks Norma!

If I try it again, and that will not be 'till fall, I'll finish on the steel for a few minutes.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: HarryHaller73 on May 06, 2017, 12:30:27 AM
You know what L&B reminds me of, the best square cafeteria pizza back in 1985, that's why people like it.  Then it got gross when y'all health freaks lobbied and made regulations to cheese and low fat, and then Michelle Obama banned pizza outright at public schools.

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: jkb on May 06, 2017, 03:41:12 AM
You know what L&B reminds me of, the best square cafeteria pizza back in 1985, that's why people like it.  Then it got gross when y'all health freaks lobbied and made regulations to cheese and low fat, and then Michelle Obama banned pizza outright at public schools.

My son's school serves pizza every Friday.   He refuses to eat it (along with everything else they serve).
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hammettjr on May 06, 2017, 09:51:22 AM
My son's school serves pizza every Friday.   He refuses to eat it (along with everything else they serve).

Yeah, not to worry Harry. Obama couldn't take on the food lobby so shifted focus from food to exercise. Pizza is still served...and still counts as a serving of vegetables.  ;D

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering L&B Spumoni Gardens' Square pie
Post by: hotsawce on May 21, 2017, 12:23:41 PM
We popped over to L&B last week and dined inside, grabbing slices.

We got a little bit of that "gummy" top layer...but it wasn't a deal breaker for us. We both thought the slices were excellent. I think I have a good idea of why it happens. They came to the table freshly baked, so they were sliced straight out of the oven. Any bread cut when that hot will compress the crumb into something gummy in appearance.

That said, man I love their dough. It reminded me of another baked good I've had but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe a type of italian cookie in texture. The dough was also like a malty kind of sweet.